After defeating Japan 21-17, Dave Biwer’s squad was unable to come up with the win against the Netherlands, losing 21-12 to finish day one of the FIBA 3x3 Women’s World Series event.
The Australians were able to hold off a tough Japanese team, with a number of big plays in the game’s final minutes proving too much for the hosts to overcome.
Keely Froling drove hard to the basket and missed a contested lay-up attempt, before collecting her own rebound and finishing to give the Australian team a 17-14 lead with 1:37 left in the game.
Froling would then get the job done on the defensive side of the ball, swatting away a Japanese shot attempt with 1:02 left, denying the host nation an opportunity to close to within one point.
Holding their nerve throughout a tense final 60 seconds, Alice Kunek delivered the game sealing blow, knocking down a two-point attempt as time expired to give the Australians a 21-17 win in their opening game at the Tokyo Stop of the FIBA 3x3 WWS.
Kunek led all scorers for the Australians with nine points, while Bec Cole added six. Froling and Maddie Garrick each scored three points.
While never trailing against Japan, the game against the Netherlands was the complete opposite, with Biwer’s squad never gaining the lead at any stage.
It was a tough performance offensively for the Australians, as they were able to make just four of their nineteen shot attempts.
Garrick and Kunek top scored with four points, while Cole and Froling each added two.
“[The] pace and physicality of 3x3 got the better of us in game two with just 45 minutes in between games, the girls came out a bit flat,” Biwer commented at the end of the days play.
Sunday will see quarter-final action take place, with the final game of the day to determine who will be the Australians opponent for the start of the knockout phase.
“Tournament is all about tomorrow. Refocus and regroup,” Biwer said.
Watch Sunday’s action live via the FIBA 3x3 YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/fiba3x3/
Scores, schedule and stats: https://womensseries.fiba3x3.com