MANILA, Philippines – Italian 3×3 star Rae Lin D’Alie stands 5-foot-4, but she led her team to its first FIBA 3×3 World Cup championship in front of the Filipino crowd by stunning defending champion and world number 5 Russia.
However, the title did not come in a snap of a finger as D’Alie compares the start of Italy’s winning program to the Philippines, whose women’s team finished last in Pool D.
“We [weren’t] winnin’ tournaments, we would arrive in like 20th,” recalled D’Alie when they first started in the 2014 World Cup.
“You just keep grinding, you just keep believing, you keep putting yourself around the right people who believe in you and fruit will come.”
This is Italy’s first championship and podium finish in the international 3×3 scene.
The 30-year-old immediately became the crowd favorite as she impressed the Filipinos with the hustle a short player like her could show against the giants in the league.
For the host’s women’s basketball team, D’Alie shared that the secret to winning is to find the best people to harness your strengths to their full potential.
“I would just say that there’s gonna be a lot of limits in life, but at the same time, those can become your strengths and if you surround yourself with community, in a group of people who work together,” said D’Alie.
“They (my teammates) cover my weaknesses, I’m small, my teammate has my back, my teammates have my back, so I think that’s that if you continue to do that.” – Rappler.com
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