Australia faced a strong opponent in Russia, who were last year’s silver medalists and 2017 champions but the women’s team responded strong and took an emphatic 19-12 win.
The score was tied at 3-3 after the three-minute mark, but took a 12-7 lead in the final two minutes, courtesy of a Maddie Garrick crossover and score.
Russia attempted one final rally with a two-pointer, but Garrick responded with another basket to clinch the win.
“We did really well. We knew it was going to be really physical and a tough match,” Maddie Garrick said post-game. “Russia, always a great team. I think that loss yesterday [to France] was probably a good thing for us, to remind us that we just can’t rock up and win, and that we would have to fight to stay in the competition. I think we bounced back from that.”
The journey doesn’t stop here, however. Garrick confirmed the team’s goal, despite their relative inexperience to the international 3×3 scene.
“It’s crazy, it’s kind of a dream come true. We’ve got our sights set on coming top three, and we’re going to try and do everything we can. Like our coach said, as soon as any Australian puts on the jersey it’s like, we’ve just got so much pride and we just play for that.”
Australia faces China in the semi-finals at 10.10pm AEST tonight.
The bronze medal game will be played at 1.40am AEST, and the gold medal game at 2.50am AEST early Monday morning.
Australia’s schedule at the 2019 FIBA 3×3 World Cup (all times AEST):
June 19: Australian men def. Brazil 21-15
June 19: Australian men def. by Poland 14-16
June 20: Australian women def. Andorra 22-9
June 20: Australian women def. Switzerland 20-14
June 21: Australian men def. by Latvia 16-20
June 21: Australian men def. Japan 22-12
June 22: Australian women def. Japan 18-16 in OT
June 22: Australian women def. by France 16-17
June 23: Quarter-Final- Australian women def. Russia 19-12
June 23: Semi-Final- Australian women vs. China at 10.10pm
June 24: Australian women bronze medal at 1.40am, gold medal at 2.50am