The Philippines and Australia shine during qualification on Day One of FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup 2024

SINGAPORE, 27 MARCH 2024 – Three-time men’s champions Australia submitted powerful performances, while the Philippines women’s team also impressed to move a step closer to qualifying for the main draw of the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup 2024
Qualification is being fought out on the first two days of the event, which runs from March 27-31. The four pool winners from the men’s event and the three pool winners from the women’s category will qualify for the main draw starting on March 29. 
The seventh edition of Asia’s biggest event has already heated up the OCBC Square at the world-famous Singapore Sports Hub, which is hosting the Asia Cup for the third straight year.

The Philippines are hoping for their first Asia Cup medal – men’s or women’s. But their women’s team will have to do it the hard way – through qualification and they were sluggish early against Tahiti. 

The Philippines did click into gear and finished strongly to pull away with a convincing 21-3 victory. 

Their momentum continued against Maldives as they attached the rim in a fast start. They were forced to fend off a spirited Maldives side before putting their foot down to win 19-11. 

With two wins in two matches, the Philippines have set up a day two blockbuster against Kazakhstan, who are also unbeaten. 

In the men’s event, powerhouses Australia made a strong start with a 21-5 thrashing of Tahiti. It’s a new-look Australia with only sharpshooter Todd Blanchfield returning from last year’s silver medal winning team. 

Newcomer Will Hickey showed off his defensive prowess to raise Australia’s intensity as they also easily defeated Kyrgyzstan 21-6 to cap a perfect start. 

India have never won a medal in the men’s category but made a statement with comprehensive victories over Maldives and Macau. Princepal Singh dominated the paint, while young gun Sahaij Sekhon tapped into his bag of tricks to give India a good chance of reaching the quarter-finals. But they will first have to get past Malaysia, who currently sit atop Pool D, in their final match tomorrow.

Blanchfield left off from his outstanding 3×3 debut at last year’s event with an incredible 15 points against Tahiti. He was on fire with five splashes from deep as he finished with a total of 19 points on Day One. 
Jhazmin Joson made a spectacular start for the Philippines and found her range against Tahiti. She was unstoppable and hit four two-pointers in a 10-point masterpiece. 
Joson didn’t have the shooter’s touch in the next game, but showed off her fancy skills with a terrific lay-up in traffic to shut the door on a fightback from Maldives. 

After losing their first game to Sri Lanka, the Indonesian men faced a tough task against the Republic of Korea who won their opener against the Northern Mariana Islands. 
But Korea were reduced to three men and played without a sub in the oppressive humidity. Even though they were gassed, Korea fought hard in a nerve-jangling game to force the game into overtime. 
With ice in his veins, Erick Ibrahim Junior put the game to bed with a banked two to spark scenes of celebration from the Indonesian players.  
Flash quotes can be found below.

Valeriya Kapitonova #77, Kazakhstan (W)“It was a very tough game because we have different climates – in Kazakhstan it’s a bit colder and it’s very hot here. We also had tough opponents but we were practising hard so we made it. We were very strong and they (Tahiti) were a little tired; both teams were tired but perhaps we were better prepared and we stayed strong, and that’s how we won. We’re happy to win two games in a row and right now we’re very excited. Tomorrow we have a game against the Philippines, they’re very good opponents but we hope we’ll beat them.”

Kaye Pingol #11, Philippines (W)“We just held them off and defended well, and we executed our offence well. We’re taking it one game at a time, to stay on the system. I think we need to calm ourselves (for the next game against Kazakhstan) because we had two technical fouls and (to improve on) our free throws. We’re nervous but excited.”

Sahaij Pratap Singh Sekhon #1, India (M)“We’re in the qualifying pool and it’s really important to give our best in every game because only one team qualifies from each group. So we have that mindset and we’ve been playing with that, but I think we haven’t been playing to our potential – we lack aggression and our two-point shots are not falling. Once this starts, we’ll be even better. It’s my third time coming to Singapore and playing in the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup, so it’s all cool. The game plan is the same, we have to be more aggressive on defence as well as offence.”

Ting Chun Hong #27, Malaysia (M)“Actually it’s not easy, we still have to win one more game to get through the qualifiers so we have to be locked in for tomorrow’s game against India. Most of my teammates are younger than me, so I have to give them a bit more guidance on court because it’s a new team. India is tall, we need to get the balls over them and give them a tough fight. It’ll be a 50-50 chance.”

Pawan Gamage #2, Sri Lanka (M)“It was a good game and a good experience for us playing against a good team like the Northern Mariana Islands. As a team, we played well because we have good friendship and we got to know each other better as well. For tomorrow’s match against the Republic of Korea, we must watch our games and look at our mistakes so that we can improve. We have to work on our shooting and our defence. Reaching the quarter-finals for the first time would be a huge, huge honour. It would be a big thing for us.” 

Erick Ibrahim Junior #4, Indonesia (M)“I feel great. Before I took that final shot, I felt confident in myself. I missed three or four shots before that, but I just kept shooting and I have practised that shot a lot. It’s 3×3 basketball, we just have to play as a team tomorrow. We have to fix our communication and play our defence a little better. It would be a blessing to reach the quarter-finals because it’s our first time playing together in the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup and it would be great to qualify.”

Konyssov Ibragim #23, Kazakhstan (M)“We won today because of our fans who are supporting us in Kazakhstan. At the beginning of the game, Tahiti played very aggressively and we committed a lot of fouls. That’s what helped them get the lead in the beginning. Then we decided to take a time-out and communicate with each other, that’s how we turned the game around and got important points to help us win. Most importantly, our power is our fans and we’re playing with our hearts. Tomorrow, that will be the most important thing and that’s why we’re ready for Australia and we hope we will get the win.”

Todd Blanchfield #5, Australia (M)“This is a new group, it’s our first 3×3 competition with this group so it’s been a real learning curve. At the same time, we’re working on a lot of things. We took another step forward in this game (against Kyrgyzstan), which is all we can ask for. Today just goes to show we have to be switched on with our defence. There are a lot of good shooters here, we got lucky tonight that they missed some shots and that’s just basketball sometimes. Our defence has got to be a little sharper and we’ll talk about some of the other stuff tonight and clean it up tomorrow. I like our chances (of reaching the quarter-finals). I like everything about this group. We’re very versatile, we’ve got inside presence, we’ve got shooting, we’ve got everything we need. It’s a learning curve for everybody, but we still have to put it together and it’s one step forward every game.”

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)
28 March1, 2FREEFREE
28 March3$10 per session$5 per session
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

*Excluding booking fee

Watch Day 2 of the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup 2024 on our YouTube channel. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and watch the FIBA #3x3Asia Cup for free.  ENDS  

About FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup 2024The 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
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*Photo Credit: FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup 2024