Men’s team from New Zealand and women’s team from China among quarter-finalists of FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup 2024; Singapore women fall to China and Chinese Taipei

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SINGAPORE, 29 MARCH 2024 – Reigning men’s and women’s bronze medallists New Zealand and China overcame tough tests to reach the quarter-finals of the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup 2024 on Friday (29 March). The first day of main draw 3×3 basketball action, which commenced after two days of qualification, started with a trio of overtime thrillers at the Singapore Sports Hub OCBC Square.

Filled with familiar faces from their podium finishes during the past two Asia Cups, New Zealand progressed to the knockout stage of the men’s competition alongside defending champions Mongolia, Qatar and Thailand. 

In the women’s event, top seed China made it through to the final eight, along with the Philippines, Chinese Taipei and Mongolia. 

Hosts Singapore were also in action – the women’s team concluded their campaign at Asia’s biggest 3×3 event with losses to China and Chinese Taipei. 

The FIBA 3×3 Asia Asia Cup 2024 will culminate in a day of thrilling 3×3 basketball action with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals all taking place on Sunday (31 March). 

THE TEAMS

Day 3 started with a Pool D men’s blockbuster clash between New Zealand and Malaysia, who impressed during qualification and had strong support from fans in the bleachers. 

It was a clash of styles with Malaysia keen to gun from deep, while New Zealand tried to play bully ball. In a see-saw battle, the game went down to the wire and overtime was needed to find a winner.  Christopher McIntosh showed off his shooting prowess and composure under pressure with the banked two to lift New Zealand to a thrilling 21-19 win. 

The Tall Blacks went up a level with a show-stopping performance against Qatar filled with dunks, fancy passes and lethal shooting. Their 22-3 thrashing was achieved well before the 10-minute limit as New Zealand lived up to their billing in the pool phase. 

In the women’s competition, 2022 champions China survived a major scare against Chinese Taipei. With the game going into overtime, China appeared set to blow their chance with four missed throws that would have iced the result. But Zhang Jianping ensured China did not suffer a meltdown as she hit the game-winning bucket to end Chinese Taipei’s resistance. 

China was in better rhythm against Singapore to record a comfortable 20-11 win after impressively overcoming an injury to Zhang Xianyuan mid-game. The host returned to the court to face Chinese Taipei and put up a gutsy performance before eventually falling 18-8. 

Singapore head coach Lazar Rasic was proud of his charges, noting the importance of events like the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup in building resilience and match experience. He added: “I’m proud of these girls because they fought. Maybe they didn’t do some things well, but they showed fighting spirit, they didn’t give up and they played till the last moment. That’s something we want to keep for the future for sure and we want to upgrade our basketball skills, upgrade our hours of practising. I hope and I believe that in the future, we will be at the level where we can beat all these teams and achieve our dream of winning a medal.”

THE PLAYERS

McIntosh made it appear like he was in a shoot-out contest on Day 3 after nailing six shots from downtown – the Kiwi finished his day with 14 points total. 

Jhazmin Joson has stamped herself as the Philippines’ bucket getter and she continued her scoring binge with 11 points, including four two-pointers, against Mongolia.

She also dished out an outrageous dime against Malaysia to perfectly complement magician Kaye Pingol. Seeking a first Asia Cup medal, the Philippines’ emphatic 17-10 win over Malaysia completed a perfect day as they stormed to a 5-0 record in this year’s event. 

THE THRILLER

Defending men’s champions Mongolia were pushed to the limit against Sri Lanka, who had been the surprise team in qualification with an unbeaten run. 

A new-look Mongolia, with only sharpshooter Anand Ariunbold returning from last year’s title-winning team, made a fast start with Temuulen Chingis on a heater. But Sri Lanka fought back with Kande Mendis dominating on the glass. 

Rukshan Athapaththu hit two late baskets to send this wild game into overtime, but Mongolia steadied with Ariunbold clinching their hard-fought win. 

Flash quotes are available below. 

Zhang Jianping #10, China (W)

“We started our first match too slowly and our teamwork wasn’t that great. We had our chances but we didn’t take them. Perhaps it’s because it was our first match so we were nervous, but we’re not usually like this. We’ll keep working hard and do better in the next round.”

Cheng Hui-Tzu #14, Chinese Taipei (W)

“Our team was strong in attacking and defending and we kept our misses and errors low and that’s how we were able to win and keep possession of the ball. ⁠Before the match, we watched a video of our opponents to analyse their tactics. On court, we communicated well and kept our errors to a minimum. ⁠No matter what, we’ll fight to the end and prepare as best as we can and keep the belief in each other and our coach.”

Lazar Rasic, Singapore head coach

“This tournament was going to be a test for us. I saw good things, I also saw bad things, so this is something that we need to keep working on. We need as many tournaments like this as possible so that we can enjoy them and not be scared or feel under pressure because we are at the beginning of building something. I can say I’m proud of these girls because they fought. Maybe they didn’t do some things well, but they showed fighting spirit, they didn’t give up and they played till the last moment. That’s something we want to keep for the future for sure and we want to upgrade our basketball skills, upgrade our hours of practising. I hope and I believe that in the future, we will be at the level where we can beat all these teams and achieve our dreams of winning a medal. Maybe I’m going to sound weird but one very famous basketball player said ‘today’s newspaper is tomorrow’s toilet paper’. So I believe that moving forward, we should put all bad things aside and keep the good things, keep working hard because we will have new competitions, new challenges and we are following our plan. I can say that I’m proud that we have fans like this in Singapore. For me personally, I feel very emotional because I see all these people, how much they like basketball. This gives me motivation to give 200, 300 per cent of myself to this programme and we make them proud in the future and make them happy for us that we play well, fight well for this country. Thanks to them I hope they keep supporting us and I hope that in the future we have more kids in our basketball courts and more new talents.”

Anand Ariunbold #5, Mongolia (M)

“Every first game is difficult for us, it’s very hot outside and everything is different. It was very good that we won. We are going back to the hotel to watch games and analyse our opponents. We will be better for our next game.”

Dominique Kelman-Poto #25, New Zealand (M)

“We adjusted in the first game to the heat, it’s really hot  compared to New Zealand so we had to adjust to that. We played against Malaysia who are a very strong team, but I’m very proud of my boys for coming out and playing hard and getting the wins today. Our shooters were shooting tonight, Tai (Wynyard) was a big beast down low, I was there for moral support so I’m just happy for my team. I’m really happy to reach the quarter-finals, we have a really strong team this year. But we just want to bring it every game, show what New Zealand has to offer and play our hearts out for our family and for our country. We learnt that anyone can beat you. We’ve beaten Malaysia quite a few times already so we came into the game thinking that we were going to get an easy win, but they gave us a run for our money. So we just have to keep staying humble, believing in ourselves and putting in the work every day to get better. The goal on Sunday is just to win. Last two years, we came in second and third so we want the gold medal. We’re also using this as a lead up to the Olympic qualifiers, so we want to give everything we have for our country and for this team.”

Jhazmin Joson #15, The Philippines (W)

“We’re very happy that we won the two games. But this is nothing new to us, we’ve been preparing for this the last couple of months. This was ours. The amount of time we prepared for this, I knew that this was ours. We just gave our heart in every game. Every ball that we got, every defence, every stop. We’re exhausted but our strength and conditioning coach – shoutout to him, he’s a good coach and he helped us prepare for this. He made sure that we’re prepared, so we’re fine. For sure (the quarter-finals) are going to be tough; these are the teams that have qualified for the Olympics and played at the higher level, so I know it’s going to be tough. From the first day that we got here, we already knew that it was going to be tough. It’s just a matter of who is going to fight for it till the end. What we need to improve on is more of the little things, like boxing out and hustling for the ball because we don’t want the other teams getting second chance points. So mostly boxing out, talking on defence and executing more. To get to the top – that’s the goal. But again, it’s one game at a time.”

Emmanuel Ejesu #7, Thailand (M)

“We tried our best; we lost the first game but we came back with this win, so we’re good to go. We lost the first game and we tried to adapt to the new court and environment. For this game, (the opponents) are smaller and we’re pretty big, so we tried to (pressure) them more. It feels good to reach the quarter-finals, it’s the first time for Thailand. Our goal is to win the championship, but we will prepare for our quarter-final against New Zealand by watching their games and recovering well.”

Day 4

The Asia Cup continues on Day 4 with men’s and women’s pool play. The Singapore men’s team take on Iran, followed by China. Watch Day 4 of the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup 2024 on our YouTube channel.  

Tickets for the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup 2024 can be purchased here. More pricing details can be found below.

DatesSessionStandard*Youths* (18yo and below) Seniors* (55yo and above)
30 March1, 2$20 per session$10 per session
31 March1, 2$30 per session$15 per session
31 March3$40 per session$20 per session

*Excluding booking fee

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