BOCAUE, Bulacan - Crowd favorite Rae D'Alie propelled Italy to its first FIBA 3x3 World Cup championship after dethroning Russia, 16-12, on Tuesday at the Philippine Arena.
D'Alie, who has won the hearts of Filipino fans, finished with seven points in the victory that she considered a dream come true.
"If you don't dream, then you can't arrive. I believe in this team. We had a vision, we worked hard for this," she said. "If you have a dream, go get it."
Italy opened the match with a 3-0 surge but Russia quickly caught up. The game was tied at 7-all before D'Alie drained a long bomb that pushed the Italians back on top.
D'Alie later on drained a crucial jumper that gave Italy a comfortable six-point cushion. Alexandra Stolyar and Anna Leshkovtseva scored back-to-back baskets to cut Russia's deficit to four in the final minute, but the reigning queens ran out of time.
Guilia Rulli contributed four points, while Guilia Ciavarella added three in Italy's title-clinching win.