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Preview: Australia take aim at 2019 FIBA 3x3 World Cup
The FIBA 3x3 World Cup is the leading 3x3 event for national teams and tipped off on Tuesday night in Amsterdam, Netherlands running June 18-23, 2019.
Featuring 20 men's and 20 women's teams, each side plays the other four in their respective pools in group play. The top two teams from each pool qualify for the quarter-finals and then play knock-out games all the way to the final.
Australia may be a 15th seed but they are viewed as a real threat in this tournament.
Credit: FIBA 3x3
After taking the 2019 Asia Cup, as Australia's men and women completed a famous double in Changsha, the women proved it was no fluke with victory in round one of the Women's Series in Chengdu.
Bec Cole is the only survivor from the team, which just missed out on the World Cup quarterfinals in 2017. She was pivotal in getting the team to Amsterdam, and was named Asia Cup MVP thanks to her 34 points in five games.
Keely Froling joins the team and is very excited about what is ahead.
“Our prep is going very well," Froling explained. "We’re all really excited and ready to get on the court now we’ve been here a few days and adjusted to the time difference.
"The squad is looking great! Everyone is super pumped and ready to go.”
The star if the Chengdu event, Alice Kunek commented on the side's preparation leading into tournament.
“It’s going really great," said Kunek. "We were able to get here a few days early and we have had two great scrimmages, one against Netherlands and our men yesterday.
"We are looking forward to the competition starting and our goal is set on top three for that Olympic qualification. We ultimately want to win that gold, but also have in the forefront the Olympic qualification."
Squad: Bec Cole, Keely Froling, Maddie Garrick and Alice Kunek
Pool B: Australia, France, Japan, Switzerland and Andorra
Schedule (all times AEST)
20 Jun 2019 12:25AM: Australia v Andorra 3:05AM: Switzerland v Australia
22 Jun 2019 12:25AM: Japan v Australia 3:05AM: Australia v France
The Australian men find themselves in a dominant pool which also includes fifth seed Japan, who the lads in green and gold accounted for in the Asia Cup quarterfinals.
Fourth ranked Latvia also are in the pool and will be out for the top spot from the group stage. However the Australians will definitely have something to say about this throughout the tournament.
“It's going well and we have been able to play a few practice games and get used to the time zone change," outlined Tim Coenraad. "We've had good preparation and now it's about us being the best we can be."
Squad: Tim Coenraad, Greg Hire, Andrew Steele and Tom Wright
Pool D: Australia, Latvia, Japan, Brazil and Poland
Schedule (all times AEST)
19 Jun 2019 12:25AM: Australia v Brazil 3:05AM: Poland v Australia
21 Jun 2019 12:25AM: Latvia v Australia 3:05PM: Australia v Japan
Watch the events live via the official FIBA 3x3 YouTube channel.