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The Netherlands and Japan shine on Day 1 of FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament

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UTSUNOMIYA (Japan) – The Netherlands (Men) and Japan (Women) go unbeaten on Day 1 of the second FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2024 in Utsunomiya, Japan.  

THE TEAMS

The Netherlands (Men) 

The Dutch men had a steep start to their second chance at an Olympic spot, a huge clash against Puerto Rico. The South American side brought their physicality but the Dutch stayed ahead. Worthy De Jong and Dimeo Van Der Horst combined for 17 points in the 21-16 victory to start off their tournament. 

The challenges only got tougher as they took on Lithuania next. Going back and forth the entire way, it was the Worthy-led Dutch side that got the better of the swing, taking home the win in the clutch following a bucket from Arvin Slagter. 

The team is 2-0 heading into tomorrow, putting themselves in a strong position to qualify for the knockout stages. 

Japan (Women)

The Japanese women showed heart on Day 1. They started with a big game against Austria where star player Yua Emura led the offensive storm with 10 points, but unfortunately going down with an injury near the end of the game. They finished with a win, but were about to find themselves fighting uphill in their next battle against top-seeded juggernauts in Germany. 

What transpired was the upset of the day as a collective effort from Japan grinded Germany to a halt. Shizuka Takada Japan with 7 points as the 3-player side came away with a miraculous 13-12 victory. A 2-0 end to a rollercoaster of a day for the home side. 

THE PLAYERS

Worthy De Jong (NED)

Unsurprisingly, Worthy De Jong was the star of the show for the Netherlands today. He put up 10 points in their first win against Puerto Rico before one-upping himself with an 11-point showing in the game against Lithuania. 

His offensive impact coupled with numerous clutch defensive plays made him undeniably the player of the day. 

Paige Crozon (CAN)

Canada’s Paige Crozon was on fire in their sole win on Day 1 against Kenya. The team needed clutch scoring to offset the grinding defense from the opposition, which Crozon brought in abundance. She put up 10 points in the winning effort, setting up the contending Canadians well heading into Day 2. 

DAY 2

Pool phase wraps up tomorrow as the semi-final spots are cemented. Tune in live to catch the thrilling action.

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