Heal leads Australia to 3x3 U18 Asian Cup gold, men earn bronze
With 3×3 basketball one of the newest sports added to the Olympic line-up at Tokyo 2020, Australia’s youth teams have shown that our talent pool is rich, coming away with gold and bronze at the 2019 FIBA 3×3 Under 18 Asia Cup in Malaysia.
This fifth edition of the tournament saw 31 teams from 17 countries compete, with the Australian women coming away with gold, while the men earned bronze after making their way through qualifying unscathed.
Australia’s gold medal winning women’s squad consisted of Shyla Heal (NSW), Georgia Amoore (VIC), Casey Valenti-Paea (VIC) and Ruby Porter (SA).
With a perfect 5-0 record, they took out gold after dominating Japan in the final with a comprehensive 21-10 win.
Heal showed she had rich talent inherited from her father, going on to take out tournament MVP honours. She stamped her skill and leadership throughout the event culminating with a game-high eight points in the final.
The men’s squad consisted of Kian Dennis (QLD), Sebastian Griffin (SA), Daniel Foster (VIC) and Jacob Richards (TAS). They took out bronze against the number 1 ranked China, with the unbeaten Japanese outfit unbeaten throughout the tournament taking out the final against Kazakhstan, winning easily 21-13.
However, our green and gold boys did send a warning shot to the eventual winners in the semi-finals, forcing the game into overtime but falling short 18-17 in a thrilling but heart-breaking contest.
Foster was selected to the team of the tournament, reaffirming himself as a star on the rise.