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Russian history in 3×3 basketball

3×3 basketball has been always catching the attention of the passionate audience. The high dynamic and rhythm of playing in 3×3 courts were too attractive to the eye of supporters. Rules which enable fast making of decisions on the battling field have only contributed to more popularity of this sport.

Let’s quickly preview what their history looked like in basketball on one rim in the next couple of paragraphs.

How was the first Russian performance in the World Cup?

Russian squad came to Athens, the Greek capital, with big expectations. This was logical because of two reasons: they had hard preparations and the amount of talent in their roster. Ilya AlexandrovMikhail GyunterIlia Syrovatko, and Sergey Krasavtsev were members of the Russian expedition in the 2012 World Cup

Russia was in group A together with Greece, Israel, Bulgaria, Estonia, and Brazil. Ilya Alexandrov and his teammates won all four games and qualified convincingly for the last 16 phase. Romania was beaten there but Ukraine, their neighbor, was too strong in the quarterfinal.

How far did Russia go in their second World Cup?

Russian 3×3 audience was not completely satisfied with the result of the previous planetary championship. The 2014 World Cup in their own country was another opportunity for cheering up this crazy game’s spectators.

Ilya AlexandrovMikhail GyunterKonstantin Nesterov, and Alexandr Pavlov were players who represented this big country at World Cup in Moscow. They competed with Lithuania, Romania, Qatar, Argentina, and Venezuela in pool B. 

Uruguay and Poland were defeated in the quarterfinal and semifinal respectively. Serbia pulled out a 19-13 victory over the hosts in the semifinal and crushed their dreams of winning the trophy on their soil.

Which result did the Russian national squad achieve in the first-ever Europe Cup?

First Europe Cup was held in Bucharest, the Romanian capital, in 2014. The continental championship gathered the best countries in Europe in one place and that was a chance for the heroes of our story. Chance to show how big their potential is and how hard they practiced for this tournament.

The same team represented Russia in this competition as in World Cup three months ago. This country fought for the elimination stage with Belgium, Estonia, and Andorra in pool B.

Mikhail Gyunter and his colleagues won the game against underdog Andorra and lost against Belgium and Estonia. It was a heartbreaking experience for Russian 3×3 fans as their nation was eliminated in the group stage.

What was the next challenge for the Russian squad?

The 2016 Europe Cup in Bucharest, the Romanian capital, was the next challenge for the heroes of our story. Russian roster for the third planetary championship included Ilya AlexandrovVitalii KuznetsovAlexander Lisichkin, and Alexander Zakharov.

The Soviet country was in pool D together with Romania and Slovakia. They finished the group competition with two wins out of two fixtures and continued the tournament with another victory in the quarterfinal over Spain. Unfortunately, Slovenia was fatal for Ilya Alexandrov and his teammates in the semis.

What was the next station in their 3×3 basketball road?

The 2016 World cup was held after the Europe Cup for the first time in history. October was the month when the best countries on the planet competed for the title of champion. This time, Russia came to the Chinese city Guangzhou with mild expectations.

Ilya AlexandrovVitalii KuznetsovLeo Lagutin, and Alexandr Pavlov were members of the Soviet country roster. Vitalii Kuznetsov and friends were in group A together with superior Serbia, Qatar, Italy, and New Zealand. Two victories and two defeats were not sufficient for playing in the quarterfinal.

Who were members of this Soviet country in the 2017 World Cup?

This Soviet country couldn’t win any major tournament in the past. The reasons were not sufficient level of quality and Serbian dominance. However, Russian players appeared in the planetary championship in the French city Nantes in 2017 with a desire to repair the damage from previous competitions.

Leo LagutinIlya AlexandrovDmitrii Kriukov, and Vasily Fedosov performed for a national roster of Russia. They competed with Serbia, Puerto Rico, Andorra, and Egypt in pool A for the Top 8 phase. Dmitrii Kriukov and his team ended their road to the title in the quarterfinal against the Netherlands. It was another disappointment in Russian 3×3 basketball circles.

How did players react to disappointment in the 2017 World Cup?

Europe Cup was on schedule in Amsterdam in July of 2017. Russian squad was changed a little bit compared to the planetary championship which was held one month before.  Alexander Zakharov and Anton Indrikov replaced Dmitrii Kriukov and Vasily Fedosov in the roster.

The Russian national team fought for the elimination stage with France and Switzerland in pool C. Alexander Zakharov and friends won the game against Switzerland and lost the fixture against France. A 1-1 score was enough for qualifying for the quarterfinal. 

Slovenian players had more experience in playing the elimination stage than Russia. Slovenia beat them with 17-13 in the Top 8 stage.

How did Russia perform in the planetary championship in 2018?

The Soviet country came to this competition with idea that everything is possible. Ilya Alexandrov remained a member of the Russian squad for this tournament, while Victor Pavlenko, Dmitry Korshakov, and Maksim Dybovskii were new players in the roster.

Russia played in pool C along with Brazil, Canada, Mongolia, and the Philippines. Victor Pavlenko’s team won only against Brazil which was not sufficient for participating in the knock-out round.

How was the Russian score in the second big competition in 2018?

Another devastating tournament was behind the Soviet country and it was a moment for regrouping and focusing on upcoming challenges. Vladimir Agababyan, Dmitry KorshakovShalva Shatashvili, and Alexander Zuev were members of the expedition for the 2018 Europe Cup in Romania.

Vladimir Agababyan and friends were competing in the pool D together with Belgium and Poland. Russia beat Poland and lost to Belgium. It was sufficient for taking part in the quarterfinal against France. Russian national squad defeated solid France with 18-16 in the Top 8 stage.

However, Bulut’s Serbia was again dominant against Russia and pulled out a 21-13 victory in the semi. The heroes of these paragraphs were defeated by Slovenia in a game for the bronze medal.

Which players represented Russia in the 2019 World Cup?

The 2019 World Cup was organized by the Netherlands and Amsterdam was the host of the competition. Alexander ZuevAleksandr AntonikovskiiDmitrii Cheburkin, and Daniil Abramovskii performed for the Russian roster in this tournament.

The Soviet nation took part in group B together with Estonia, Mongolia, Ukraine, and Puerto Rico. Russia finished the 2019 World Cup with a 1-3 score.

How did Russian players handle their emotions after failure in the planetary championship?

Ilia Karpenkov, Andrey KiselevKirill Pisklov, and Alexey Zherdev were members of the Russian squad for the 2019 Europe Cup in Debrecen. Russian players had France and Hungary as opponents in pool B. Andrey Kiselev and his colleagues ended the group stage in last place with a 1-1 score.

Under which name did Russia perform in the 2021 Olympic Games?

The 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games were the first in which 3×3 basketball was discipline. Russian team did not have the right to participate under the name Russia in the Olympic Games since 2015. The country had a doping scandal that year and this was a sanction for them. 

Players represented the nation under the name ROC (Russian Olympic Committee) in Japan. Players included in the ROC squad were: Ilia Karpenkov, Kirill Pisklov, Stanislav Sharov, and Alexander Zuev. The heroes of these paragraphs ended the group stage with a 3-4 score.

Russian Olympic Committee won against Netherlands and Serbia in the quarterfinal and semifinal respectively. The final game was played between ROC and Latvia, two soviet countries. Latvia defeated Stanislav and friends with 21-18 and won historical gold.

You can watch a full final game and ceremony after here:

What happened with the Russian national team in 2021?

After Olympic Games in Tokyo, Russia competed in the 2021 Europe Cup in an attempt to win the first title. Daniil Abramovskii,  Boris LogachevStanislav Sharov, and Alexander Zuev represented Soviet Country in the continental championship in September of 2021. 

Netherlands and Israel were beaten in the pool and the ticket for the Top 8 was earned. Estonia was defeated in the quarterfinal but Serbia turned out as an insurmountable obstacle once again. Alexander Zuev and his teammates lost the fixture for the bronze medal against Poland.

One nation that played a huge role in this game’s development and growth was Russia. Russian squad started competing in big tournaments in 2012 and had some remarkable results until now. 3×3 wild fans remember the event today and some of their performances.

About the author

Marjan Nikolic

Passionate sports guy, coming from the eastern Europe where best basketball is played (yeah, I know you will not agree!). Dynamic 3x3 basket has special place in my heart.

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