Australia's first FIBA 3X3 Challenger event tips off today in Sydney, with 11 countries represented and the world's number four ranked team taking part.
Held at Sydney's Overseas Passenger Terminal on Friday, some of the top teams from around the World and from down under will go to battle for US$10k in prize money and places on the FIBA 3X3 World Tour.
The field for the Sydney FIBA 3X3 Challenger event is boasts five of the top 15 ranked teams, with the Piran from Slovenia the highest ranked team participating who are currently ranked at four in the world and featuring players from the Slovenian 3x3 National Team who will be competing at the 2018 FIBA 3x3 World Cup next month.
Piran will face stiff competition from the side from Belgrade (Serbia) which includes FIBA 3X3 legend and Dragan Bjelica who is cousin of Minnesota Timberwolves forward Nemanja Bjelica. His side is currently ranked number eight in the world, and along with Amsterdam Inoxdeals from the Netherlands (#11), Auckland of New Zealand (#15), Lausanne (Switzerland), Marienbad (Czech Republic), Taoyuan Absolute33 (Chinese Taipei), Tokyo (Japan) and Adjuntas (Puerto Rico).
The field of 10 international teams will get a taste of Australian 3X3 basketball, with the standout Spectres iAthletic side from Melbourne who have dominated the NBL's 3X3 Pro Hustle and CLB3X3 events across the past 12 months the local favourites.
The Melbourne iAthletic team includes the top two 3X3 players in Australia; Andrew Steel and Tom Wright, with 3X3 FIBA Asia Cup MVP Tom Garlepp also joining them for this event. Their squad is rounded out by two-time NBL championship winner Tommy Greer.
While the winners of the Sydney Challenger will take home $10,000 USD, second place will win $6,000, third $2,000 and fourth $1,000 along with places on the FIBA 3x3 World Tour also on offer.
With such a diverse array of teams, players and countries descending on Sydney Harbour, it is worth getting down to catch the high-octane action this weekend. If you can't get down to the event, it will be streamed live via The Pick and Roll Facebook page.
Friday, May 18 2:00pm – 4:00pm | Qualifying Draw 4:00pm – 8:30pm | Pool Games
Saturday, May 19 5:00pm – 6:20pm | Quarterfinals 6:20pm | Two-Point Shootout 7:00pm - 7:40pm | Semi-Finals 7:40pm | Dunk Contest 8:20pm | Final