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Canada beats China to earn 1st 3×3 basketball Women’s Series victory of season

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Canada is atop the 3×3 basketball Women’s Series once again.

The reigning champions earned their first win of the season on Wednesday, beating China 17-16 to win the stop in Poitiers, France.

The quartet of Katherine and Michelle Plouffe, Kacie Bosch and Paige Crozon downed China 17-16 to win the Women’s Series stop in Poitiers, France on Wednesday.

That Canadian group romped through the season without losing a single game last season after collecting silver at the World Cup. But in 2023, Canada lost in the World Cup quarterfinals before falling in the semifinals of its first regular-season in Orléans, France.

WATCH | Canada tops China:

FIBA Women’s 3×3 Series Poitiers final: Canada vs. China

Watch Canada take on China in the final of the 2023 FIBA Women’s 3×3 Series in Poitiers, France.

The top-three ranked teams at the end of the season book their tickets for the 2024 Paris Olympics, while others must advance through separate qualifying tournaments. The Canadian women missed the sport’s debut at Tokyo 2020 after a quirky rule allowed just the men’s team to attempt to qualify, which it failed.

Canada led throughout the final against the Chinese side SC Yuanda, but the Asian side kept things close until the very end, including a late 4-0 run to make it a one-point game.

However, the Canadians notched a couple key defensive stops in the final minute to hold on for the victory.

Michelle Plouffe, the top-ranked player in the world, led Canada with eight points and nine rebounds while sister Katherine added four points and seven rebounds. Bosch only recorded two points on one make from beyond the arc, but they proved the difference as Canada’s opened a 17-12 lead before the late Chinese rally.

Earlier, Canada topped Hungarian side Gyor 18-10 in the semifinals, with each Plouffe sister contributing six points.

Despite shooting 1-for-9 from two-point range, Canada relied on its defence to get past the surprising Hungarians, who finished last in their previous tournament.

Canada ousted the U.S. 21-12 in the quarterfinals.

WATCH | Canada beats Hungary to reach final:

FIBA Women’s 3×3 Series Poitiers semifinals: Canada vs. Gyor

Watch semifinal action as Canada faces Gyor from Hungary at the 2023 FIBA Women’s 3×3 Series in Poitiers, France.

After an early 6-1 lead evaporated into a 10-10 tied, Canada regrouped and closed the game in style, sparked by a pair of buckets by Katherine Plouffe and a two-pointer off the hands of Crozon, who led the team with seven points.

Each member of the Canadian team contributed at least one two-pointer in the game, part of a 6-for-15 effort overall from beyond the arc.

“I think something we do well is stay steady. We’ve come back from 6-1 against the States before so we know they’re gritty, but we’re steady,” Katherine Plouffe said courtside after the game.

The 3×3 Women’s Series continues Thursday at 8:30 a.m. ET in Marseille, France, with live streaming available on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.

Canada is next scheduled to play at the July 6-7 event in Fribourg, Switzerland.

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