It’s not going to be a walk in the park for anyone vying for success in the FIBA 3×3 World Cup with powerhouse teams abound.
And a title quest is made especially harder with the best countries from every continent fending off their competitors in their respective groups. 20 teams are divided into four groups with five countries in each, and only two teams from each group can qualify for the quarterfinals.
European countries notably lead the pack, but other teams from neighboring continents are out to spoil the party.
ASIA – Mongolia
Asia’s top 3×3 team and the fifth-best squad in the world just came off an impressive run in the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup, where they dropped a close 17-16 match against Australia in the final. The squad will stick with the same lineup when they hit the courts in Bocaue, as the country aims to get out of a tough Pool C with Delgernyam Davaasambuu, Dulguun Enkhbat, Tserenbaatar Enkhtaivan and Tsenguunbayar Gotov.
They’re currently competing in the FIBA 3×3 Ulaanbaatar Challenger ahead of the action here on June 8.
EUROPE – Serbia
After winning the last two editions of the FIBA 3×3 World Cup, the Serbians are poised to complete a three-peat this year. They’ll be bannered by the best 3×3 players in the world – literally the four best; these guys take up the top spots in the individual leaderboard – in Dejan Majstorovic, Marko Savic, Dusan Bulut and Stefan Stojacic.
A win this tournament would give them their fourth title in five tournaments; the only blemish on their record is a second-place showing in 2014, where they lost to Qatar (13-18) at Moscow in the final.
Serbia is also one of the competing teams in the Ulaanbataar Challenger.
AMERICAS – Brazil
The last time that Brazil competed in the world stage was in 2014, where they won just one in five games and finished 21st out of 24 teams. Their return makes Group C, with another top team in Mongolia fighting for one of the two spots, an even deadlier draw. Suiting up will be William Evangelista, Marcellus Sarmento, Carlos Silva Jr. and Luiz Soriani.
OCEANIA – New Zealand
New Zealand is the lone Oceania team in the tournament. Ranked 3st1 in the world, they placed 15th in the 2017 FIBA 3×3 World Cup in Nantes, France. The team also placed fourth in the recently concluded Asia Cup.
Two holdovers from that edition – Aaron Bailey-Nowell and Karl Noyer – will suit up again for the team and they’ll be backed by Sam Timmins and Everard Bartlett.
They’re also bracketed with Serbia in Pool A.
AFRICA – Nigeria
The 62nd ranked Nigeria will be making their World Cup debut this year after being awarded a wildcard last year. The odds are against them, though, as they’re the lowest-seeded team in the tournament. They’re pooled with powerhouse European teams in Latvia, Ukraine and Croatia, as well as Jordan.
Playing for Nigeria will be Azuoma Dike, David Godwin, Lucky Subel Okoh and Abdul Yahaya.