S'pore to face China at March 27-31 Fiba 3x3 Asia Cup, Latest Team Singapore News - The New Paper
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S'pore to face China at March 27-31 Fiba 3x3 Asia Cup

Singapore’s men’s 3x3 basketball team have vowed to put up a strong fight after being handed a tough draw for the Fiba Asia Cup at home.

The team made history at the 2023 edition when they recorded their maiden victory at the regional competition en route to a quarter-final run.

Buoyed by that 22-20 overtime win over Chinese Taipei at the Singapore Sports Hub’s OCBC Square, the hosts are fired up after drawing top seeds and world No. 4 China in Pool A for the March 27-31 event at the same venue.

Completing their pool will be the winners of the qualifying group comprising Chinese Taipei, Iran and Hong Kong.

Singapore 3x3 national coach Lazar Rasic welcomed the draw, saying that it is beneficial for the development of his 55th-ranked team as they eye future competitions such as the 2029 SEA Games in Singapore.

He said: “My goal is to empower the team to realise its full potential. Our long-term aim is performing well at the 2029 SEA Games on home soil and potentially qualifying for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games.

“I am pleased with the progress made during my short time with the team. The Fiba 3x3 Asia Cup will allow us to test ourselves against the best. We are looking forward to going up against the Chinese team, and I promise we will put up a strong fight.”

Singapore captain Kelvin Lim added: “We had a wonderful experience playing in front of the home crowd at the OCBC Square last year and we’re hoping to improve on our performance.

“We’ve been training hard and fine-tuning some tactics. We hope to make Singapore proud.”

Lim and former teammates from the now-defunct Singapore Slingers – Delvin Goh, Tay Ding Loon and Xu Duan Yang – are among the six shortlisted players for the squad, which will be finalised closer to the event.

This is the third successive year that the Republic is hosting the tournament.

Defending men’s champions Mongolia have been drawn in Pool B with Thailand. Pool C will have Japan and the Philippines while New Zealand and Qatar are in Pool D.

The qualifiers involving 15 teams, who include 2023’s runners-up Australia, will decide the other four sides in the main draw.

Meanwhile, Singapore’s 46th-ranked women’s team are drawn in Pool A with world No. 1 China, who won the 2022 edition, and Chinese Taipei. Japan and Thailand are in Pool B while Mongolia and Malaysia feature in Pool C. Pool D includes three-time champions and 2023 winners Australia and New Zealand.

The women’s qualifiers feature 11 teams with three sides earning a spot each in Pool B, C and D.

Australian Anneli Maley said the event will be important in their preparation for the Paris Olympic qualifying tournament in Utsunomiya, Japan, from May 3 to 5.

Said Maley: “We are excited to return to Singapore to compete and defend our gold medal from last year. This is a really important competition for Australian 3x3 basketball as we look ahead to the 3x3 Olympic qualifying tournament.”