Our Gangurrus women’s 3×3 team comprising of Anneli Maley, Alex Wilson, Lauren Mansfield and Marena Whittle have claimed gold in Singapore at the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup 2023.
The victory is an important steppingstone on the road to Paris 2024, with Australia now securing its spot in the qualifying tournament for the Olympics early next year.
Taking on rivals New Zealand in the final, the team won 21 to 11 in stunning fashion, with Wilson shooting a long range shot to secure the title and marking the team’s third gold medal in the tournament’s sixth edition.
After showing her class throughout the five-day competition with 43 points and 33 rebounds, Whittle was fittingly named the women’s MVP of the event and also featured in the ‘Team of the Tournament’. Fellow teammate Maley, who finished the event with the most rebounds (39), was also named in the team of the competition.
Having started the event in the qualifying draw, the quartet went undefeated throughout the event beating the likes of China, Thailand and Chinese Taipei.
Speaking after the win, an exhausted Maley said she was incredibly proud of the team.
“Oh, it feels so good, I’m so proud of us,” Maley said.
“I want to give a shoutout as well to our extended squad back at home, we can’t be here competing without them and their support.
“The Gangurrus – which is the indigenous word for Kangaroos – we’re family and it’s just an awesome feeling to win on the court with your best mates.”
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The Gangurrus men’s team of Daniel Johnson, Andrew Steel, Lucas Walker and Todd Blanchfield did the green and gold proud, claiming silver in their final against Mongolia – 21 to 18.
In a hard-fought game Mongolia jumped out to a five-point lead at one stage (16-11), however Australia, with its never-give-up-attitude, pegged its way back to even the score at 18 apiece. But some individual brilliance from Anand Ariunbold in the dying stages saw Mongolia defeat the reining champs and claim its second FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup title, having won in 2017.
Up until that match Australia had been on a 24-game winning streak, with its last defeat incredibly coming against Mongolia in 2017.
Daniel Johnson and Todd Blanchfield finished in the top four scorers for the competition, shooting 31 and 30 points respectively.
Congratulations to our Women’s gold medal team:
Coach: Damon Lowery
Congratulations to our men’s silver medal team:
Coach: Dave Biwer
The men’s team will now need to finish top three in the 2023 World Cup in Vienna in June, to earn a spot in the Paris Qualifiers early next year.