The Australian men and women have both won gold medals in their respective tournaments at the inaugural FIBA 3×3 Oceania Championships, held in Gold Coast over the weekend.
In the open-age competition, teams from seven countries participated in the men’s pool group while five countries were present for the women’s.
The rules of the 3×3 tournament see a ten-minute game played in one half of a basketball court, with four players to a side (one of which is a substitute).
Players can check in at any time with the first team to 21 points declared the winner or whichever side is leading at the end of the allotted ten minutes.
The Australian men consisted of four Centre of Excellence players in Mate Colina, Andrew Ferguson, Jayden Hodgson and Jack White.
All still teenagers, the Australian team made up in size and height what they lacked in experience, overcoming an early loss to New Zealand with five straight wins over Guam, Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands, Fiji and Samoa.
In the Semi-Final, they inched past Guam 12-11 before facing their Trans-Tasman rivals in a re-match for first place. It was another tight contest and a high-scoring affair but this time Australia prevailed, 19-18, to take out the gold medal.
Chantel Horvat, Anneli Maley, Alexandra Sharp and Elizabeth Tonks made up the women’s team, again giving up game experience with an average age of 17.5 years.
In a similar vein to the men, the Australian women fell to New Zealand in their opening game before dominating the Cook Islands, Fiji (in a 21-1 smashing) and Samoa.
They then took care of the Cook Islands again in the Semi-Final, winning 19-7 before taking out a 14-13 thriller against New Zealand in the gold medal playoff.
The next 3×3 tournament will be the first of three Red Bull Reign qualifiers to be held in Perth on October 10 before the national final is held in Melbourne on October 24.