Olympics – Basketball 3×3-Japan men mauled by Serbia, women fall to China

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Basketball 3x3 - Men - Pool A - Serbia v Japan
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Basketball 3×3 – Men – Pool A – Serbia v Japan – Aomi Urban Sports Park, Tokyo, Japan – July 26, 2021. Mihailo Vasic of Serbia in action with Ryuto Yasuoka of Japan during the match. REUTERS/Andrew Boyers

July 26, 2021

TOKYO (Reuters) – Serbia notched a thumping victory over host nation Japan on Monday to remain undefeated in the Olympic men’s 3×3 basketball tournament.

The top-seeded Serbian squad, led by Dusan Domovic Bulut, improved to 5-0 in the round-robin stage of the sport’s Olympic debut.

Japan slid to 1-4 after several narrow losses in the tournament, now in its third day at the Aomi Urban Sports Park in Tokyo.

“We’re missing opportunities. We’re not competing like we know how,” said Japan’s Ira Brown, who was held to just one point in his team’s 11-21 loss.

Bulut led his team with seven points, including three two-point shots.

In a morning match, China toppled Japan 15-12 on flawless free throws and aggressive rebounds from Wang Lili.

“We were too obsessed with our own style,” said Japan’s Stephanie Mawuli. “Our speed and timing didn’t match up.”

The United States leads the women’s division with a perfect 4-0 record after beating the Russian Olympic Committee on Sunday. The U.S. team will face Italy and China on Monday.

Romanian women secured their first win on Monday when Sonia Ursu hit a two-pointer to seal a 22-14 victory over winless Mongolia.

Meanwhile, the Chinese men’s squad picked up their first win with an upset 21-20 victory over Belgium.

With an Olympics debut, 3×3 is looking to boost its global profile as a faster-paced, more compact alternative to basketball.

DJs play hip-hop music throughout competition 3×3 games, in keeping with the sport’s urban roots.

The medal matches will take place on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Rocky Swift; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)