Serbia, Italy rule World Cup
BOCAUE, BULACAN—Powerhouse Serbia collected a fourth title in five years, while an Italian squad led by crowd favorite Rae Lin D’ Alie clinched a first crown at the close of the 2018 Fiba 3×3 World Cup late Tuesday night at Philippine Arena.
With World No. 1 Dejan Majstorovic struggling with just two points, 3×3 legend Dusan Bulut took charge for the Serbians, who turned back the Netherlands, 16-13, in a rematch of last year’s finals in France.
The awe-inspiring performance in the finals saw Bulut carry the Serbs for long stretches on his way to finishing with seven points and winning Most Valuable Player honors in the men’s division.
A crowd favorite since Day One, the diminutive D’ Alie dazzled in the finals with seven points, powering the eighth seed Italians to an upset over 2017 champion Russia, 16-12.
“I think if you just love people and just spread light, it’s gonna come back and I saw that a lot here,” said D’ Alie, who was an instant hit among Pinoy fans with her flair and creativity on offense. “We just feed off the people’s energy, and that was big for us.”
The Italian guard also offered encouragement to Perlas Pilipinas, who ended up winless in their World Cup debut, drawing parallelisms to their early stints in the tournament.
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