TOKYO — Yulia Kozik exhausted a two-point jump shot to give the Russian women’s team a victory over the Japanese hosts in their Olympic 3 × 3 basketball debut on Saturday.
The highly favored Russian Olympic Committee team was never behind in the physical match, but the Japanese team closed the gap to one point in the last minute. But with 25 seconds remaining, Kozik’s double put his team up to 21, sealing their victory in the half-court match, against Japan’s 18.
The Russians used their height and size advantage to score drives and capitalize on rebounds. Twins Olga and Evgeniia Frolkina at 6 ‘and 5’11 “combined to score 10 points, while Mio Shinozaki (5’5”) led Japan’s scoring with 9 points.
First Olympic 3 × 3 game !! 😍
– FIBA3x3 ➡️ # 3 × 3 # Tokio2020 (@ FIBA3x3) July 24, 2021
The women played in a steamy and nearly empty stadium at Aomi Urban Sports Park in Tokyo. The tournament will last five days and the medal matches will take place on Wednesday.
“From the streets to the Olympics” is the motto of 3 × 3 basketball, which aims to expand its global profile with its debut at the Games in Tokyo.
The 3 × 3, pronounced three-ex-three, is played in half court and with three active players instead of five. Sixteen men’s and women’s teams will compete in a free-for-all tournament.
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