Teams for 3X3 FIBA World Cup qualifying tournament announced

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The Men’s and Women’s 3×3 teams have been announced in preparation for the FIBA World Cup qualifying tournament to be held in Puerto Rico from May 4-5, while the squads for the Asia Cup have also been released.

The FIBA World Cup qualifying tournament runs for two days, with eight nations competing for just three places in the FIBA 3×3 World Cup to be held in Amsterdam in June.

Dave Biwer is set to return as coach of the Men’s team, while Damon Lowery will coach the Women’s team, with Matt Patton set to take over for the 3×3 Asia Cup taking place from May 22-26.

The squads announced for the Asia Cup are subject to change, with the coaching staff also taking the NBL Pro Hustle in Darwin into consideration for selection.

The World Cup qualifier is the exciting first step in a series of major 3×3 events over the next few years including the 2019 FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup, 2020 Tokyo Olympics and 2022 Commonwealth Games. Basketball Australia wishes to extend its gratitude to Commonwealth Games Australia for their ongoing support of the 3×3 pathway.

The Men’s team for the qualifying tournament features a pair of top-ranked 3×3 players, with Andrew Steel (#1 Ranked Australian) and Tom Wright (#2 Ranked Australian) leading the way, while two NBL veterans in Tim Coenraad and Greg Hire will round out the team.

Bec Cole (#1 Ranked Australian) and Alice Kunek (#2 Ranked Australian) lead a star-studded Women’s team into the tournament, with WNBL Championship player Keely Froling joining them alongside one of either Maddie Garrick or Marena Whittle.

“I’m very optimistic that both the men and the women can get through the top three in Puerto Rico to qualify for the FIBA World Cup” shared head coach Dave Biwer.

“With more and more players playing the sport, the talent has increased.

“A couple of years ago we were walking into events trying to read up on the rules; nowadays we’ve got seasoned players like Andrew Steel, Tom Wright, Bec Cole and Maddie Garrick who know the game inside-out.”

The National 3×3 Camp held in Melbourne earlier this month along with the NBL 3×3 Pro Hustle events have been crucial in selecting the athletes to compete in Puerto Rico. Multiple players have enjoyed success in the Pro Hustle events so far, with Bec Cole, Keely Froling and Marena Whittle all enjoying first-place spoils with the Spectres iAthletic team at the Melbourne Pro Hustle.

Meanwhile, Alice Kunek has not played 3×3 basketball since last May, however, she is set to make her return to the format at this weekend’s Pro Hustle event in Darwin after she returned from playing in Poland with Energa Toruń.

Pending qualification to the 3×3 FIBA World Cup, the squad that will compete at that tournament will be picked on form from both the Qualifying tournament and the Asia Cup, while the door will be left open to any players showing strong form back home in Australia.

The 3×3 World Cup Qualifiers athletes:

Tim Coenraad Rebecca Cole
Greg Hire Keely Froling
Andrew Steel Alice Kunek
Tom Wright Maddie Garrick (Pending Availability)
Marena Whittle (Pending Availability)
Dave Biwer (Head Coach) Damon Lowery (Head Coach)
Priyanka Karunakaran (Team Manager) Priyanka Karunakaran (Team Manager)

The 3×3 Asia Cup Squads:

Tim Coenraad Rebecca Cole
Greg Hire Maddie Garrick
Owen Odigie Alice Kunek
Andrew Steel Anneli Maley
Lucas Walker Carlie Smith
Tom Wright Hanna Zavecz
Dave Biwer (Head Coach) Matt Patton (Head Coach)
Priyanka Karunakaran (Team Manager) Priyanka Karunakaran (Team Manager)