Line-up for FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup 2024 quarter-finals set after thrilling end to pool phase; Singapore men downed by top seeds China and in-form Iran

SINGAPORE, 30 MARCH 2024 – FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup 2024 women’s defending champions Australia and Iran’s men’s team wrapped up the pool phase in style on Saturday (30 March), finishing top of their groups ahead of a mouth-watering knockout stage. 

Australia started their title defence with two convincing pool stage wins on Day 4 of the event, and will be joined by Japan, New Zealand and Thailand in the quarter-finals. They will play Thailand in the last eight, while Japan and New Zealand will battle for a place in the semi-finals. China, Mongolia, Chinese Taipei and the Philippines had booked their spot in the last eight a day earlier. 

In the men’s event, Iran continued to impress and made it through along with 2022 champions Australia, top seed China and Japan, who knocked out the Philippines at the Singapore Sports Hub OCBC Square. Iran will square off against Japan in the quarter-finals, while Australia and China meet in a clash of powerhouses. The other men’s quarter-finalists are New Zealand, Thailand, Mongolia and Qatar. 

Hosts Singapore ended their outing with valiant displays against China and Iran in the men’s competition. The knockout stage will take place on Sunday (31 March), with the champions of the men’s and women’s competition to be crowned at the end of the day. 

In a rematch of last year’s women’s final, Australia again crushed rivals New Zealand with a 22-9 victory. New Zealand are seen as the biggest threat to Australia’s title defence, but the reigning champions appear unstoppable as they delivered an almost flawless display. 

Australia picked up where they left off from last year’s dominant campaign, where no team scored more than 11 points against them with a 21-7 victory over India sealing their spot at the top of Pool D.   

In the men’s draw, top seed China were favourites to top Pool A, but Iran’s unbeaten run during qualification proved to be a potent confidence booster. 

Though China threatened to take control of the game on several occasions, Iran’s defence held firm. Momentum shifted when Ehsan Dalirzahan banked a tough shot in traffic while drawing the foul, and Majid Rahimian sealed the upset after a brilliant crossover to cap a 15-13 win. 

Iran then overcame a passionate home crowd with a powerful performance to down Singapore 21-12. Dalirzahan had a game-high 9 points, while Mohammadmahdi Rahimi dominated the paint with 8 rebounds. 

The host then returned to face China and, backed by the roars of the home spectators, succeeded momentarily in putting pressure on their higher-ranked opponents. Though Singapore held the lead briefly, China eventually regrouped to close out the 21-15 victory. 

In a high-quality contest against a formidable Japan team, Australia’s William Hickey was the standout player after registering a triple-five of 7 points, 7 rebounds and 6 highlights. 
Hickey added another dunk against the Philippines, but sharpshooting teammate Todd Blanchfield took over with hot shooting to finish with 13 points in Australia’s 21-13 victory. 

The Japan women’s team were unbeaten on Day 4, but they had to do it the hard way with tense victories over Iran and Thailand. An overtime win over Thailand in the evening session secured their spot at the top of Pool B, ensuring that they avoid Australia in the quarter-finals. 

Japan were ignited by Riko Furuki, who produced the dime of the day with a spectacular no-look pass over her head. 

Flash quotes can be found below. 

Majid Rahimian #7, Iran (M)“Yes, we are definitely aiming for that semi final. We are a good team. It was a tough game today. We have to win both games to stay on top and go to the next round. We played hard and we defended well and we won. My brothers played good and that is why we are here. The secret is aggressiveness. It is because we trained hard in Iran and now we know what we can do in these kinds of games. Game after game, our connection is better, we talk to each other better and that is why we can win.” 

William Hickey #4, Australia (M)“That was a bit sloppier than we would have liked, but all tournament we’ve relied on our defence and it’s gotten us through. So we just need to clean up our starts and other than that, I feel good. We’re a little tired but at the end of the day, we’re all professionals and we do this for a living, so we’re going to go out there and give it our all no matter what. Defence is what’s getting us these wins and we’re going to keep continuing to play defence to the best of our ability.” 
Todd Blanchfield #5, Australia (M)“We like to hang it high defensively. Every game is a totally new group. A bonus is that we get to play in games and get used to each other on the 3×3 court. Every game we try to take a little step forward and I think we did that, especially on the defensive end. I’m 32, but the rest of the guys, I think the oldest guy is 24 or 25. We have fresh bodies, we’re young, we’re hungry. Obviously I was here last year with a lot of disappointments, still a little bit of a bad taste in my mouth to be honest. So every game, we’re going to come out a little with a chip on our shoulder and we’re going to go out for this thing.” 

Lazar Rasic, Singapore head coach“We are a young team and we don’t have a lot of experience, so this is something that we need to work on in the future. We played, we fought and we gave our best, especially in the second game we showed that we are able to commit to playing with the best team. I’m proud of them, they were fighting especially in the second game and we’re going to keep working. “For these guys it’s their first time playing 3×3 and first time playing in this type of competition. So I think we were nervous, sometimes scared, and this is something that we need to go through. All these other teams have a lot of experience and lots of competitions like this, so there’s the big advantage for them now. We were kind of nervous in the opening game, and then we started to control the game until the end where we slowed down and they had momentum. They (China) were experienced enough to take advantage of this momentum, but we played and fought till the end of the game so I’m proud.” 

Tay Ding Loon #9, Singapore (M)“I think the fouls are a bit different compared to what we usually train, so that’s one thing we need to learn to adapt to. I think our adaptability is not very good yet. That’s something you’ll get experience in as you grow and play more. With the crowd and home pressure, it’s something we all need to get used to as well. That’s something I’m learning to do. “Even though we didn’t win the game, all four of us gave our best and we all played our hearts out. Our fans and our team-mates who were not playing, as well as Coach Rasic were screaming and wanting us to do our best. That’s one thing very positive – Coach Rasic can find our mistakes and that’s where we get better from our mistakes. I don’t think we’ve reached our potential yet because we’ve only been preparing for six months, including a trip to Serbia and China. The trip was good; without that, we wouldn’t have had such a (close) game with China. I hope the younger generation finds passion in basketball, whether it’s 3×3 or 5×5. As they grow older, I hope they find what suits them the most and that they give their best towards their sport.” 

Zhu Yuanbo #12, China (M)“The match against Singapore is our second match today and it is also our second match for the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup. We didn’t do too well for the first game perhaps because we haven’t had as much game time in the last few days. We had much better coordination in the second game and also made some improvements based on our first game. We only had 13 points in the first game and that’s a pretty low score in 3×3 and that showed that we had some problems with our attacking game. Perhaps that also resulted in problems in our defence and it became a vicious cycle. In addition, team wise, we are all pretty young and haven’t had much time to work on the team’s coordination. However we spotted the areas that needed improving from the first match and worked on them for the second game. Our defence was much better in the second match.” 

Anneli Maley #24, Australia (W)“New Zealand are a really great team and they play with a lot of heart, the same way we do. So we’re kind of going out facing a team that plays similarly to the way we do – with a lot of heart, a lot of passion and it makes for a good game for the crowd and for the people watching. I wouldn’t say there’s a rivalry. It’s just fun, it’s just basketball but enjoyable. (The lesson is) Never get complacent, like nothing’s expected. Every single one of these teams can beat any other team on any given day, that’s why 3×3 is so exciting. I guess the trap that we’re not going to fall into is that everyone’s here and everyone’s talented. We just have to play our best brand of basketball, play the Gangurrus style, play the way we want to play and the rest is out of our control. We just have to play hard and with heart and hopefully the winds will follow.” 

Rattiyakorn Udomsuk #29, Thailand (W)“We tried to play without pressure. We’re happy to have a game like this and we hope everyone enjoyed the game too. We did our best. We have to be more confident about our two-pointers. (During overtime) If we had made the shot, we would have won. We have to be more confident. We’ll just do our best for the quarter-finals, we know it’ll be difficult to win but we’ll do our best and have fun. We have to enjoy our game and not put too much pressure on ourselves. This is a big competition and it’s good for us to get experience and test the team for future competitions.”  

Tomoya Ochiai #91, Japan (M)“We knew we couldn’t lose this game. It was such a tough game. They’re so strong, they can shoot very well and they’re very tough, but we won that game and I’m happy. Tomorrow, we just need to keep the intensity high for 10 minutes each game, keep our energy intense and then of course, we will be the champion.” 

Day 5 
The fifth and final day of the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup begins with the quarter-finals, followed by the semi-finals and finals. 

Men’s Quarter-Finals 
Iran v Japan
New Zealand v Thailand
Mongolia v Qatar
Australia v China 

Women’s Quarter-Finals 
China v Mongolia
Australia v Thailand
Japan v New Zealand
Philippines v Chinese Taipei 

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)
31 March1, 2$30 per session$15 per session
31 March3$40 per session$20 per session

*Excluding booking fee Watch Day 5 of the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup 2024 on our YouTube channel


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 and 

About Singapore Sports Hub
Singapore Sports Hub is an iconic, premier destination offering sporting, entertainment and lifestyle experiences for all to enjoy. This world-class development is managed by Kallang Alive Sport Management Co Pte Ltd (KASM). It offers programming that comprises international, recreational and competitive events, live entertainment as well as activities that cater to the broader community. The Singapore Sports Hub aims to serve the sporting and entertainment needs of people from all walks of life. 

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Photo Credit: FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup 2024