29 Mar 2023
SINGAPORE - All-conquering Australia (women's) were almost flawless while Kazakhstan (men's) also impressed and moved a step closer to qualifying for the main draw of the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup 2023.
Qualification is being fought out on the first two days of the event, which runs from March 29-April 2. The four pool winners from the men's and the two pool winners from the women's will qualify to the main draw.
The sixth edition of Asia's biggest event has already heated up the world famous Singapore Sports Hub OCBC Square, which is hosting the Asia Cup for the first time.
View this post on Instagram
Last year's women's silver medallist Australia put on one of the most dominant performances ever seen in 3x3 history with a 21-0 thrashing of New Caledonia.
She playing volleyball out there 🏐#3x3Asia | @BasketballAus pic.twitter.com/XqBFUMSSzk— FIBA3x3 (@FIBA3x3) March 29, 2023
The Aussies are out to go one better this year and showcased their determination with a ruthless showing first up.
Australia remarkably almost matched that scoreline against Kazakhstan after scoring the first 15 points before winning 21-2.
They weren't the only team to dominate with New Zealand easily beating Tahiti 19-8 and then enjoyed a comfortable 20-9 victory over India.
Kazakhstan (men's) had a strong start in Draw C with a big 22-8 win against Samoa and then they beat Thailand in a tough match.
Korea's men put the brakes on Turkmenistan with a convincing 15-8 victory to get off to a winning start in their only game on day one.
Korea's impressive win adds interest to a blockbuster clash on day two with last year's silver medallist New Zealand, who beat Tonga 20-10
New Zealand flexed their muscles with big fellas Dominique Kelman-Poto and Tai Wynyard combining for 12 points.
Son of a gun Hoon Heo was a flamethrower against Turkmenistan with a trio of 2s to hit a game high 7 points in his 3x3 debut.
The 27-year-old is the son of Hur Jae, who is regarded as Korea's greatest ever basketball player. Much like his legendary dad, Heo was lights out and showed he firmly belonged on the half-court.
🇰🇷 Deeper than K-pop music 🇰🇷— FIBA3x3 (@FIBA3x3) March 29, 2023
Heo Hoon putting spice to the game 🔥🥵#3x3Asia pic.twitter.com/pIuzB5gUrW
Kazakhstan's Robert Pan was also a sniper as he nailed 5 two-pointers en route to an insane 11 points against Samoa.
But he was overshadowed later by teammate Ruslan Aitkali, who was possessed with 15 points including 7 three pointers against Thailand.
It was tough to find a standout of Australia's all-round brilliant displays but Marena Whittle was eye-catching - and not just her impressive ink work on her arm - with 15 points across two games as she bullied her smaller opponents.
New Zealand's Krystal Leger-Walker showcased her range to finish with 12 points across two games in a solid game one effort.
Malaysia looked dead and buried when they trailed Hong Kong 19-13 before launching an insane comeback.
Hong Kong couldn't close the door and Malaysia capitalized with Xian Fu Ooi's two-piece cutting it to 20-18 then Ting Chun Hong splashed from downtown Singapore to tie it up.
Their incredible rally was complete when Ooi tipped in the winner to cap a stunning turnaround.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? 🤯— FIBA3x3 (@FIBA3x3) March 29, 2023
🇲🇾 Malaysia were trailing by 6 points against 🇭🇰 Hong Kong and they won!!!
😱 WHAT A COMEBACK!#3x3Asia pic.twitter.com/vQ3xXF8qZF
Four men and two women's teams on day two will qualify for the main draw.
Watch Day 2 of the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup 2023 on our YouTube channel.
Subscribe to our youtube channel and watch the FIBA #3x3Asia Cup for free🍿 👇— FIBA3x3 (@FIBA3x3) March 28, 2023