The New Zealand men’s and women’s 3x3 teams are all set to tip-off the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup, starting with the women taking on India tonight at 10:50pm NZT.
The teams landed in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia earlier in the week to prepare, which included scrimmages yesterday arranged by Head Coach Anthony Corban.
“The men had two wins over Japan, the first was 18 to 15 and then it followed with 16 to 14 victory,” said Corban today.
“Japan play that aggressive up and in you defence. There was a bit of singlet-grabbing all game off the ball too, but it’s good our guys get more experience with that in a scrimmage.
“Overall I was pleased with the hit-out, everyone contributed. Alonzo [Burton] grew in confidence throughout the first game. [Everard] knocked down crucial baskets when they were required. Both our bigs worked hard around the basket on offence and defence.
“Like any new group, we have plenty to work on: on-ball defence, not helping off set shooters and communication are areas of improvement. However, the wins will help settle the nerves before Saturday hopefully. The boys are looking forward to it,” said Corban.
The women’s team also prepared by scrimmaging with Qatar, although were not tested as much as the men, rolling out two straight-forward victories, 21-1 and 14-6. Coach Corban said he was particularly pleased with the women’s offensive execution.
“Yes, I was pleases with our post-catches and on-ball execution. Jess [Bygate] and Deena [Franklin] had a field-day on the offensive glass, while Stirling [Walker-Pitman] and Tash [Lenden] grew in confidence throughout both games,” said Corban.
New Zealand women's first game will be against India on 27 October at 10:50pm NZT (5:50pm in Mongolia. New Zealand men’s first game will be against the winners of Qualifying Draw A, 28 October at 7:50pm NZT (2:50pm in Mongolia).
Coach Corban says the games will all come down to accuracy.
“We’ll be focusing on good decision-making, particularly on defence, staying in our offensive systems, denying opponents open looks from the outside, and denying opponents offensive rebounds.”
All games will be livestreamed. For more on the event go to FIBA's Tournaments webpage here: http://www.fiba.basketball/3x3asiacup/2017
Women’s 3x3 New Zealand Team:
- Jess Bygate
- Deena Franklin
- Tash Lenden
- Stirling Walker-Pitman
Men’s 3x3 New Zealand Team:
- Everard Bartlett
- Alonzo Burton
- Tom Vodanovich
- Rory Fannon
- Anthony Corban, Head Coach
- Leanne Walker, Assistant Coach