SINGAPORE, 2023, MARCH 29 – The FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup 2023 tipped off with a thrilling start, with qualification rounds taking place over the first two days of the event. The qualification round determines which teams will make it to the main draw of the tournament.
Australia’s women’s team, last year’s silver medalists, put on an impressive performance, dominating New Caledonia 21-0 and then defeating Kazakhstan 21-2. Their determination to go one better this year was evident in their ruthless showing. New Zealand’s team also showed their dominance, winning their matches against Tahiti and India comfortably.
On the men’s side, Kazakhstan’s team had a strong start in their pool, defeating Samoa 22-8 and then winning a tough match against Thailand. Korea’s men’s team had a convincing 15-8 victory against Turkmenistan in their only game on day one, setting up an exciting clash with last year’s silver medalists, New Zealand, on day two.
The players also put on a remarkable show, with Hoon Heo of Korea’s men’s team making an impressive debut with a game-high seven points against Turkmenistan. Kazakhstan’s Robert Pan also showed his skills, nailing five two-pointers and scoring 11 points against Samoa, but teammate Ruslan Aitkali overshadowed him with an incredible 15 points, including seven three-pointers, against Thailand.
The women’s teams also had standout players, with Marena Whittle of Australia being eye-catching with her 15 points across two games. New Zealand’s Krystal Leger-Walker showcased her range, scoring 12 points across two games.
One of the most exciting moments of the day came when Malaysia made a comeback against Hong Kong. Trailing 19-13, they launched an insane comeback, tying the game at 20-20 before Xian Fu Ooi tipped in the winner to cap off a stunning turnaround.
Overall, the first day of the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup 2023 was full of thrilling moments, with fans eagerly anticipating day two to see which teams will qualify for the main draw.