For the first time ever, the Australian men will join the Australian women at the FIBA 3×3 World Cup, to be contested in Amsterdam from June 18-23.
The men’s team features three players from last month’s FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup gold medal winning side in Tom Wright, Tim Coenraad and Greg Hire.
Joining them will be Andrew Steel, the third ranked 3×3 player in the country, who previously won a bronze medal at the 2017 Asia Cup and gold at the 2018 Asia Cup while helping Australia advance through the World Cup qualifier last month.
“All five guys that have played for us in recent months have been fantastic but to bring Andrew back from injury adds another dimension to the team with his shooting ability,” said National 3×3 Pathway Manager, David Biwer.
“Tom is coming off an MVP at the Asia Cup and with more and more experience, Greg and Tim are blossoming.”
The women’s team consists of Bec Cole, Maddie Garrick and Alice Kunek who are coming off a successful week that saw them claim gold at the 2019 FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup before winning the first stop of FIBA’s inaugural Women’s Series in China.
Keely Froling is back in the green and gold as the fourth member of the team after winning bronze at the 2018 Asia Cup and qualifying Australia for the World Cup in May.
“Her outstanding performance at the qualifier sees Keely come back into the team,” said Biwer.
“Hanna and Marena have been stars and the performances of all six players who have represented us recently gave the selection committee a lot to think about.
“But Maddie shone at the Asia Cup and since then, she has really excelled alongside Alice and Bec who have been unbelievable.
“On a 12-game winning streak, the women should walk into the World Cup with belief which is a great way to play.”
20 teams, divided into four pools, will compete for the FIBA 3×3 World Cup with the top two teams from each pool advancing to the Quarter-Finals.
The women (ranked 21st) will face Andorra (33rd), Switzerland (16th), Japan (7th) and France (5th) in their group stage and will take confidence from their recent wins over France and Japan at the Women’s Series in China.
“Coming up against some good teams at the World Series will help to put them in a favourable mindset,” said Biwer.
“The three medalists at that tournament came from Asia so the strength of the Asia Cup will help our preparation as well.
“The women are at that perfect level where they know they can compete with the best but will have to work and play together to get the wins.”
The Australian men (ranked 34th in the world) will take on Brazil (12th), Poland (16th), Latvia (5th) and Japan (6th) in the group stage.
“Experience and talent-wise, the men can be on par with the best at the tournament.
“Having never played at a World Cup, they will have to step up to another level but these guys are confident players and I know they are aiming for, and believe they can reach, the podium.”
Australia’s schedule at the 2019 FIBA 3×3 World Cup (all times AEST):
June 19: Australian men vs. Brazil at 12.25am
June 19: Australian men vs. Poland at 3.05am
June 20: Australian women vs. Andorra at 12.25am
June 20: Australian women vs. Switzerland at 3.05am
June 21: Australian men vs. Latvia at 12.25am
June 21: Australian men vs. Japan at 3.05am
June 22: Australian women vs. Japan at 12.25am
June 22: Australian women vs. France at 3.05am
June 22-23: Australian women Quarter-Finals between 11pm-4.15am
June 22-23: Australian men Quarter-Finals between 11.30pm-4.45am
June 23: Australian women Semi-Finals at 10.10pm or 10.40pm
June 23-24: Australian men Semi-Finals at 11.20pm or 12.05am
June 24: Australian women bronze medal at 1.40am, gold medal at 2.50am
June 24: Australian men bronze medal at 2.10am, gold medal at 3.30am