Basketball England 3×3 FIBA Endorsed event took place at Manchester Belle Vue venue. Saturday saw teams compete against each other to raise the profile of female basketball within the country.
3×3 is a faster format of the game of regular Basketball. It has already been confirmed as a feature sport at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, as well as the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
London had 2 teams show at the competition London Youngblood’s Cubs the winners of the London tournament held at London Metropolitan University and Hounslow Hawks.
Youngblood’s Cubs started their campaign in a determined way, playing against Brighton Cougars (SE), Bucks Elite (S), Suffolk Sharks (E) Tees Valley (NE) Synergy (NW) and beating all the teams that stepped on the court with them.
The Youngblood’s battled their way to the semi-finals where they played against Derby Trailblazers. Youngblood’s shooting Guard Ines Goryanova remained relentless from the outside of the key. Tinu Fakunle, Fatmata Janneh and Leia Edwards dominating the inside of the key these 4 players showed that ‘These Girls Can!
Coach Caroline Charles proudly commented that we have versatile ‘Bigs!’ They can play perimeter and post, even little Ines will take the ball inside and give the defence trouble with her moves. We didn’t have a set plan. I love the freedom of 3v3 and I just told the girls to apply the basics and then go with what the floor presents to you. They did that (well most of the time)
In the finals, Youngblood’s came up against Synergy (NW) again. This team had given Youngblood’s a run for their money in the first round, and both teams had the measure of each other for the final. Synergy started the game with the first points on the board Ines Goryanova replied with a drive down the middle of the key to scoring. Synergy once again scored and then followed up with a steal and another basket. Ines balanced the scoresheet with a beautiful outside the arc shot. This basket seemed to light the fire within the Youngblood’s player with Fatmata, Leia and Tinu going to work on the inside of the key Synergy found it very hard to keep pace with the attacks from the Youngblood’s Cubs. Youngblood’s finished the tournaments as outright 3v3 FIBA Champions.
Report by Caroline Charles (London Youngbloods Cubs)