Youthful Team USA advances unscathed to Fiba 3x3 World Cup quarterfinals

BOCAUE — Team USA clobbered Russia, 21-13, on Monday to rule Pool C in the 2018 Fiba 3x3 World Cup at the Philippine Arena.

“I think it was definitely a big win for us,” said Erin Boley.

Team USA, which is made up of players from University of Oregon and has an average age of 20, entered the tournament seeded 13th but has exceeded expectations and now moves on to the next round.

“Playing had been really fun for us especially being teammates and traveling the world together. And being able to represent the United States of America has been an honor,” said Sabrina Ionescu, who dropped 11 points in the huge victory and is in the top 10 in scoring for the tournament.

Familiarity is definitely a big advantage, with Otiona Gildon and Ruth Hebard completing the Ducks delegation representing USA.

“It’s always good to continue playing with your teammates especially because we know how each other play and our strengths and weaknesses. So being able to come here and show the world what we can do is awesome,” said Gildon.

Advancing to the quarterfinals unbeaten sure heightens the expectations for this USA side, but the young players are shrugging of the outside pressure.

“I think we have internal expectations for ourselves,” said Ionescu.

“I don’t think we really focus on any external expectations. So I think we’re focusing on what we can do better and continue to get better each day as a unit and individually."

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