Australia win double at FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup 2024

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SINGAPORE, 31 MARCH 2024 – Australia cemented their status as the region’s 3×3 basketball powerhouse after winning both titles at the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup 2024 on Sunday (March 31). 

They dominated the half-court at the famous Singapore Sports Hub to win men’s and women’s for the second time having achieved the feat in 2019. 

Credit: FIBA 3*3 Asia Cup 2024

Playing in their fifth straight men’s final, Australia reclaimed their crown and won a fourth Asia Cup title overall with a dominant 21-7 victory over Iran at the OCBC Square, stifling Iran in a spectacular performance as they pulled away early and never eased up. 

MVP Todd Blanchfield fittingly hit the two-pointer to seal Australia’s triumph. 

In the semi-finals, they avenged last year’s bitter defeat in the final to Mongolia with a convincing 21-11 win.

Credit: FIBA 3*3 Asia Cup 2024

Iran’s giant-killing run from the qualifying draw ended, but they still clinched their first medal since winning bronze in the tournament’s first edition in 2013.

Credit: FIBA 3*3 Asia Cup 2024

Defending champions Mongolia had the consolation of a bronze medal after a thrilling 21-18 win over New Zealand. 

Superstar Anand Ariunbold produced a brilliant performance with 15 points and sank two free throws to seal Mongolia’s fifth men’s medal. 

Joining Blanchfield in the Team of the Tournament was Ariunbold and Ehsan Dalirzahan who led Iran. 

In the women’s final, all-conquering Australia successfully wrapped up their title defence with a tough 18-13 victory over New Zealand in a repeat of last year’s final. Australia held a slim 15-13 lead in the final minute before MVP Alex Wilson hit a clutch two to effectively end the New Zealanders’ resistance. 

Australia had blitzed their way to the final, dominating all their matches including a 22-9 thrashing of New Zealand in the pool phase. But on Sunday’s final, they were seriously threatened for the first time during their back-to-back title run. Still, they did enough to add to their triumphs in 2017, 2019 and 2023. 

Credit: FIBA 3*3 Asia Cup 2024

Wilson was joined in the Team of the Tournament by New Zealand’s Sharne Pupuke-Robati and  Monglia’s Ariuntsetseg Bat-Erdene. 

Former champions New Zealand had made it through to the final after thrilling one-point victories over Japan and Chinese Taipei earlier in the knockout stage. 

Credit: FIBA 3*3 Asia Cup 2024

Mongolia won the bronze medal after beating Chinese Taipei 17-10 for the country’s first women’s Asia Cup medal since they claimed silver in 2013. 

For the third straight year, Singapore hosted Asia’s biggest 3×3 event with the seventh edition welcoming over 6,000 people from March 27 to 31. 

Following the high of the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup 2024, the Singapore Sports Hub continues to celebrate the sport through its “Festival of Basketball”. Building on its goal to bring basketball closer to the community, the Sports Hub is collaborating with Hypebeast to showcase the influence of street culture on the sport (https://www.sportshub.com.sg/sport-fitness/skateboarding). In September, the Sports Hub will welcome champion clubs from across the world, who will compete at the FIBA Intercontinental Cup. 

Flash quotes can be found below. 

Khulan Onolbaatar #13, Mongolia (W)

“We had a medal in mind when we came here and having this medal for the first time for MOngolia women’s team is historic for us. Thank you Singapore, thank you to the Mongolian fans. We’ve worked so much for a long time and getting this piece of metal to prove that we’ve improved is so big for us and thank you Mongolians for all your support. It means so much to us, it’s the first medal for us and it’s just the start so I’m really happy about it. We’ve learnt so much from this competition, just about being together with the team, teamwork, being a leader, taking responsibility, being on time, loving the game; we learnt about everything really. It’s wonderful here, I’ve been here for three straight years and it’s nothing short of wonderful really.” 

Lauryn Hippolite, New Zealand (W)

“Even though we lost, I’m super proud of what we did. We’ve never gotten so close before. We are such a young team and you know, it just shows that anyone can win on the day of course but we just played our hardest. I’m just super proud. Honestly, I was just excited (to play in the final). We tried to keep our poise and I think we did a good job of that for the game. We stayed level-headed even though we knew we were just two points behind and that was huge for us. And we could have had that of course, but they are a really, really well-drilled team, super talented. They are top three in the world for a reason and to be able to be number two, that’s almost perfect. We love the game. And we’d love to play it more but resources are short in New Zealand so we’re trying our best. Hopefully we’ll pay a little bit more.”

Anneli Maley #24, Australia (W)

“The atmosphere was awesome. It was a really good game. Kudos to New Zealand, they always play super hard, they’re super talented and it’s always going to be a good game facing them. I’m feeling pretty awesome, that felt great. We barely change the game plan every time, we just do us, we play our basketball and that’s it. This win means everything. Australia’s never gone back to back in FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup golds so it means everything, the pride for our country. Everyone here was better than last year. We were better but… India were awesome, they’ve improved so much since last year, New Zealand’s gotten so much better, Thailand, Mongolia, everyone has levelled up and that’s a kudos to the 3×3 game. To celebrate, we’re just going to spend time together, enjoy the moment and soak up all that Singapore has to offer. It’s a pretty amazing place.”

Marena Whittle #21, Australia (W)

“We feel really lucky that we came away with back-to-back wins. We were focused on the competition, we knew it was going to be hard but we feel so great, I’m so proud of this team. This is the first time we’re playing together in a long time, so I’m more focused on how we compete as a team rather than my individual performance. These girls have been playing together for a week before I got here so just trying to find my rhythm with the team was really important. I was just trying to help us as best as I could.”

Temuulen Chingis #11, Mongolia (M)

“Yeah we just wanted to win a medal as it’s the team’s first Asia Cup, our first time in Singapore and I’m just so happy. I feel good. Mongolia are defending champions however it’s our first time winning a medal as a team and we feel good. Winning a medal with the women’s team is amazing; we’re a family and I’m so happy and proud of them as well. It’s an amazing time for Mongolia. I gained so much experience from this tournament because Australia is a strong team and they play professional basketball so I’m so excited and happy to have been here.”

Matin Aghajanpour #17, Iran (M)

“It was a tough game. Australia is very good and we are tired too. This was a very defensive game and we tried, but congratulations to Australia, they were very good. We practised a lot and we are getting better and better. This is my first time playing in the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup, it was a good experience with good fans everything is good.”

Todd Blanchfield #5, Aus (M)

“I remember like it was yesterday. I hate losing whether it’s cards or a game of basketball. The competitive juices kick in, especially in a gold medal game. And taking care of Mongolia in the semi-final was big. Obviously it was a bad taste left in my mouth from last year and it’s something we want to go one step further and two years ago, they came up with the goal. Unfortunately, we took a loss last year but to come away and get back to the top is where we want to be. We got a call maybe three days before we came in here so it’s a pretty quick turnaround but just credit to the guys here (with) everyone just buying in. Everyone had their moment, whether it was any four of us, so to be able to take a step forward each game defensively, which is what we want, (I’m) super proud of the guys. 

“(To celebrate,) I mean first, I’m going to get in the pool, I’m sweating. But I’d like a day to explore around Singapore tomorrow. We leave for home tomorrow night. I love Singapore, it’s a beautiful country, the people here are very lovely, very welcoming. Any place in the world you go to is like that, I love it. The heat’s a little bit too much for me, but I’d love to get around a bit tomorrow.”

James O’Donnell #7, Aus (M)

“Being the youngest guy on the team, I came in a little bit nervous cause all these guys are (veterans), they played in the national team before, they’re (professionals). I’m only a junior, but I feel Todd Blanchfield especially took me under his wing, taught me how to play the game and it worked out really well. Preparing for it was pretty difficult. We didn’t have a camp or anything like that. All we had to do was just grab a 3×3 court wherever we could, shoot around a little bit. We had no place to run, no contact with the coach. We just got an email from our manager that we were in the team. So the (preparation) was very little but it worked out well. The heat was the main thing for sure, and adapting to the way 3×3 is played as a usual 5-on-5 player, I did 5-on-5 my whole life and playing 3×3, especially in this atmosphere, was really fun.”

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Exciting, urban and innovative, 3×3 is inspired by several forms of streetball played worldwide and is considered the most thrilling urban sport. Steered by FIBA, games see two teams of three players face off on a basketball half-court. 3×3 made its Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

For further information about 3×3, visit fiba3x3.basketball, FIBA 3×3 accounts on FacebookInstagramSina WeiboTencentTikTok, TwitterYoukuYouTube or contact 3×3@fiba.basketball.  

About FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup 2024

The FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup 2024 is the seventh edition of the tournament, and it will be the third consecutive year that Singapore hosts the international event. In 2022, after a successful debut event hosted in the city-state, FIBA and Sport Singapore agreed a three-year partnership for Singapore to host the tournament (2023, 2024 and 2025). The event is organised by Kallang Alive Sport Management, supported by partners Sport Singapore and Basketball Association of Singapore, and sponsored by EVA Air (Official Airline), PARKROYAL on Beach Road (Official Hotel) and 100PLUS (Official Hydration). Exciting, urban and innovative, 3×3 is inspired by several forms of streetball played worldwide and is considered the world’s number one urban team sport. Steered by FIBA, games see two teams of three players face off on a basketball half-court.

About Sport Singapore

As the national sports agency, Sport Singapore’s core purpose is to inspire the Singapore spirit and transform Singapore through sport. Through innovative, fun and meaningful sporting experiences, our mission is to reach out and serve communities across Singapore with passion and pride. With Vision 2030 – Singapore’s sports master plan, our mandate goes beyond winning medals. Sport Singapore uses sport to create greater sporting opportunities and access, more inclusivity and integration as well as broader development of capabilities. Sport Singapore works with a vast network of public-private-people sector partners for individuals to live better through sport.

To find out more, visit SportSG’s websites at www.sportsingapore.gov.sg and https://www.activesgcircle.gov.sg/read.

Credit: FIBA 3*3 Asia Cup 2024

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