Canadian women win 3×3 silver medal in FIBA world cup

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In the winter of 2019, the Canadian women’s 3×3 team failed to qualify for the Olympics — despite inarguably being one of the best teams in the world — on a technicality. Today, the same team just won silver in the FIBA World Cup.

Because of the same technicality (federation points are earned by the total number of teams for a country, which means a country with many, many teams can have far more points than a country with a single, dominant team — like Canada), the Canadians entered the tournament ranked 13th, in a dominant Pool D with Spain and the Netherlands. But as a single team, they were one of the favourites.

The roster was composed of Katherine and Michelle Plouffe, Paige Crozon, and Kacie Bosch. The Plouffes and Crozon were all on the 2019 team as well that did not reach the 2020 Olympics. Both Plouffes have extensive experience with the 5-on-5 national team, and Michelle was drafted into the NBA; the Canadian team is stocked full of talent, especially for the newer 3×3 format.

Canada opened the tournament with a bang, beating Chile 21-10 and then smashing Isreal 22-5 despite Israel being the higher-seeded team. They lost to Spain 18-16 — their only loss in group play — which meant they faced the United States in the Quarter Finals. The Plouffe sisters outscored the United States on their own (seven points for Katherine and four for Michelle), as they beat the Americans 14-10. They followed that up with a win over Lithuania to reach the Finals against the number-two ranked France.

The Plouffes scored every point for the Canadians — seven for Michelle and six for Katherine — but the Canadians lost 16-13 to a well-balanced French attack. Canada boasted the highest and second-highest scorer in the game. Though it was a disappointing finish for Canada, it was ultimately a huge victory for the program. This tournament was the start of the path to the 2024 Paris Olympics. Canada will continue to have an uphill battle for qualification due to their being the tournament-attending team in the country. But the three medalists from the World Cup in 2023 are automatically qualified; Canada has to have its sights set on that tournament. A repeat performance would send them to the very stage they were unjustly denied in 2020.


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