3×3 basketball captivates in Valledupar in its first appearance in the Bolivarianos

3×3 basketball captivates in Valledupar in its first appearance in the Bolivarianos


Valledupar (Colombia), Jun 28 (EFE).- There have been days of packed stands at the Garupal Sports Park, in Valledupar. In its first appearance in a Bolivarian Games, 3×3 basketball has captivated with its street style, the closeness with the public and the speed of the plays in the middle of an urban atmosphere fueled by a DJ.

The public is discovering it. He still does not fully understand its rules or game strategies, but he lets himself go and vibrates with each point. “Where are the coaches?” a young man asks as he looks around the 50-foot-wide by 35-foot-long field where the action takes place. “Here it is different. The players make all the decisions,” they reply.

In Valledupar, the debut was in the women’s branch with clashes between Colombia, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. Most of the players come from mainstream basketball and are living that transition as they battle it out for a medal for their country.

To the rhythm of “Dutty Love” by Don Omar and Natti Natasha, the Colombians were doing their thing in one of the days. They impose a frenetic pace in the matches and have been able to celebrate with the encouragement of a crowd that has connected with them and with 3×3, which premiered at Tokyo 2020 as a new Olympic sport.

“I’m enjoying it. We feel the company of the public a lot and that helps a lot. The games have been very physical, some more technical,” Yuliany Paz, who stands out among the coffee pots with her 1.93 meters, told Efe.

The 22-year-old athlete is in the process of adjusting to the discipline. She is achieving it with the illusion of being able to hang a gold and then go for another in 5×5 basketball, in which she will also represent Colombia in the XIX Bolivarianos.

“At the beginning, since I’m very tall, I didn’t slide as much. I’ve already managed to adapt and I’m doing better,” says the pivot, adding that “it’s very good that they included the 3×3. It’s already Olympic and little by little we can dream of qualifying to some Games.


The other team that has been contagious with its energy has been Ecuador, which this modality gave the opportunity to examine the ability of its athletes and to resolve a difficulty as a delegation.

“Our country had a short budget to bring the 5×5, they had the opportunity to bring us four players for the 3×3,” reveals Ecuadorian basketball player Doris Fernanda Lasso, who was already in the Bolivarianos de Trujillo 2013, where they won a gold medal in the most popular mode.

In Valledupar, Lasso was put to the test. He had played some matches in the national league, but he is not equal to competing in an international competition.

In this sport, teams have only one substitute and a single period of 10 minutes. In addition, simple baskets add one point and those achieved from further away give two.

The Ecuadorian has felt “the environment very welcoming” and “very interesting” what happens on the track due to the intensity and friction that continually exists between opponents. “As we play less time, there is more anxiety and desire for baskets. The music and the atmosphere have to be like that, even more so if you play in daylight,” says the 29-year-old athlete.

Jeimmy Paola Sierra

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3×3 basketball captivates in Valledupar in its first appearance in the Bolivarianos