Sri Lanka And India Light Up Day Two As FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup 2024 Main Draw Is Set

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SINGAPORE, 28 MARCH 2024 – The Sri Lanka men’s team were spectacular, while India’s women produced a gutsy effort on Day 2 to reach the main draw of the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup 2024.

The final teams joining the main draw were determined, ending the two-day qualification phase. The opening ceremony also took place on the second day with Guest-of-Honour Mr Eric Chua, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth & Ministry of Social and Family Development in attendance alongside Team Singapore athletes. Mr Chua was also joined by Mr David Crocker (Director, FIBA), Mr Kon Yin Tong (Chairman, SportSG), and Mr Quek Swee Kuan (Chief Executive Officer, Kallang Alive Sport Management).

The seventh edition of Asia’s biggest event is being played at the Singapore Sports Hub OCBC Square. It is the third consecutive year that the Asia Cup is being held in Singapore.

THE TEAMS

In the men’s event, Sri Lanka booked their spot after producing a thrilling comeback victory over the Republic of Korea. Sri Lanka started slowly and trailed 9-1 before storming back into the contest.

It came down to the wire with Kande Dasun Nilantha Mendis hitting the game-winning bucket to send Sri Lanka into the main draw.

Credit: FIBA 3*3 Asia Cup 2024

There was much anticipation over the blockbuster clash between India and Malaysia, who were both unbeaten on the opening day.

But an energetic Malaysia quickly made it a one-sided contest as they produced an outstanding performance filled with slick passing and hot shooting from deep.

Credit: FIBA 3*3 Asia Cup 2024

Malaysia raced out of the blocks to lead 8-1 and they never eased up to clinch a 21-9 victory in a game that lasted just over six minutes in playing time.

Lee Jia Jun and Ting Chun Hong, the MVP of the Malaysian Basketball League, scored 10 apiece in an ominous sign for their opponents in the main draw.

The victory clinched Malaysia a berth in Pool D of the main draw, while it was a bitter disappointment for India who had impressed on the opening day.

Australia and Iran also qualified after their respective victories, with Australia beating Kazakhstan 18-7 and Iran pulling off two victories in a day over Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong.

Credit: FIBA 3*3 Asia Cup 2024

In the women’s event, India faced adversity after losing Kavya Singla to injury in their 18-12 victory over Hong Kong. They played without a substitute against Indonesia, but it didn’t matter as they mustered resiliency in a 20-13 win with Pushpa Senthil Kumar stepping up with 9 points in both games.

The Philippines also qualified for the main draw with a convincing 21-12 victory over Kazakhstan, whose campaign ended after recording two victories on the opening day.

Credit: FIBA 3*3 Asia Cup 2024

Iran also went through after beating the Republic of Korea 14-11 in a do-or-die game in the night session.

THE PLAYERS

Rukshan Athapaththu had a monster game against Korea and scored 13 points in a heroic performance to cap Sri Lanka’s unbeaten campaign in the qualifying draw.

He wasn’t the only one to fill the stats sheet on Day 2 with Camille Clarin scoring a game-high 9 points for the Philippines. She showed off her fancy footwork much to the delight of her loud compatriots in the bleachers.

THE DUNK

In his first major 3×3 event, Will Hickey showed off his incredible athleticism during the qualifying draw.

The 25-year-old has quickly stamped himself as a defensive expert with a number of emphatic rejections, but against Kazakhstan he produced a jaw-dropping offensive play with the best dunk of Day 2.

After pump faking Amanzhan Mukhidenov, he stormed to the rim and threw down a one-handed jam as Hickey continues to make a name for himself.

Flash quotes can be found below.

Lee Jia Jun #24, Malaysia (M)

“I feel very excited because we played like a team and we played like a family. We watched (India’s) games and reviewed those games many times to prepare ourselves for this. We’ve been preparing for the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup for the past year. It wasn’t easy, India are a strong team but we played very well today. The game plan was to have good defence and box up because they are very tall. For the main draw, we’ll take it step by step. We’re thankful to the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup for giving us a high level competition to play.”

Camille Clarin #21, The Philippines (W)

“I’m feeling so excited to reach the Main Draw because what we showed in the qualifying draw is only half of what we can do and it really proved that the work we put in the last couple months is really paying off. Our team work and chemistry have been the biggest things helping us. We have so many offensive threats that it’s really just a matter of who will pop off and in what game. We’re really respectful of everyone who has the highest of capabilities and we make sure everyone shines. We definitely want to improve on our shooting. Our chemistry is already there and that’s the main key.”

Kande Dasun Nilantha Mendis #8, Sri Lanka (M)

“When play started, we didn’t set up the team well enough and that allowed the Republic of Korea to take the lead. But finally, Rukshan (Athapaththu) made some baskets and we got on track to win against Korea. We have done some workouts when we’re free to practise shooting our two-pointers. Pawan (Gamage) and Rukshan made some key two-pointers and Simron (Yogananthan) also attacked from the inside. I followed the rebounds and made the shots. We drew a lot of team fouls from them, which was our biggest advantage. We played this match as if it’s a final and I’m very happy because this is the first time we’ve beaten Korea. We meet Thailand and Mongolia in the Main Draw and we’re going to prepare ourselves well, practise our shooting and give them a good fight.”

Joshua Samuel Davey #6, Australia (M)

“We just locked up on defence and got locked in as a unit on what we were trying to do down there. That’s how we were able to put points on the board. We’re a new team but we’ve got good chemistry – we know each other from other leagues in Australia, so we really get to it. We think the competition is going to go up (in the main draw) and we’re going to level up as well. So we’re not worried. Our goal is to win and we’re 100% confident.”

Negin Rasoulipour #9, Iran (W)

“I feel good, we all played good today. I trust my team and I believe we can do better. We need to recover well now and we have some practice matches to help us prepare for the Main Draw. I believe we have what it takes to reach the next round, but we must play better overall. It’s been a very good experience here so far, we have a very good team and I’m just very happy to be there.”

Majid Rahimian #7, Iran (M)

“This match (against Hong Kong) was easy but they played hard and we didn’t make many of our shots, and that’s why we didn’t score 21 points. We knew that we could qualify quite easily, we’re strong and now we want to take the next steps forward and move up and go all the way to the finals. I don’t know how the Singapore team is, I haven’t seen their games but China is good; the games (in the main draw) will be hard. We are good, we’re from the national team and we play in our league, so we’re ready to play. But 3×3 is more difficult than 5v5. We have to make better connections and talk to each other in defence, and maybe play a bit harder. We can do it.”

Day 3

The main draw of the Asia Cup starts on an action-packed Day 3. Watch all the action on our YouTube channel.

Men

Pool A: China, Singapore, Iran

Pool B: Mongolia, Thailand, Sri Lanka

Pool C: Japan, Philippines, Australia

Pool D: New Zealand, Qatar, Malaysia

Women

Pool A: China, Chinese Taipei, Singapore

Pool B: Japan, Thailand, Iran

Pool C: Mongolia, Malaysia, Philippines

Pool D: New Zealand, Australia, India

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)
29 / 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

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