The Pools for the Crelan FIBA 3×3 World Cup 2022 have been announced today, with the 3×3 Tall Blacks and 3×3 Tall Ferns both heading to this marquee basketball event in Antwerp in June.
In the first 3×3 World Cup to be held since 2019, four pools of five teams will compete in both the men’s and women’s categories. And for the first time, only the Pool winners qualify directly to the quarter-finals, while teams ranked second and third move on to a play-in eighth-final.
In the men’s category, New Zealand joins a loaded Pool A alongside No.1 seed Serbia – who are look for their record fifth 3×3 title – as well as France, Puerto Rico and Brazil.
And in the Women’s category, New Zealand has similarly landed in a competitive Pool B, alongside No.2 seed France, two-time World Cup winners USA, Austria and Brazil.
The 3×3 Tall Blacks and 3×3 Tall Ferns both earned a ticket to the FIBA 3×3 World Cup last month in Doha, going undefeated in the FIBA Asia Qualifiers and dominating their respective competition.
3×3 Tall Blacks Head Coach, Piet Van Hasselt says he is thrilled to be able to represent New Zealand on the world stage this June.
“The greatest aspect is that we earned this World Cup ticket through some electric and composed performances in winning the Qualifiers in Doha last month,” says Van Hasselt.
“We’ll be going up against 19 high-quality opposition teams in Antwerp this June; all the Pools are stacked and we embrace the challenges ahead. We respect our opposition, and will have a tight unit of Kiwis who are ready to knock off some of the international 3×3 superpowers.
“The next few months are loaded to test ourselves and to improve – with the World Cup, Asia Cup and other events being held before the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.”
Tiarna Clarke, who starred for the 3×3 Tall Ferns during last month’s FIBA Asia Qualifiers in Doha, says it was a special experience which gave her and the team added confidence.
“We faced some tough teams in Doha but our chemistry felt like second nature and we were all really supportive of each other – which was key to our success,” says Clarke.
“With each game we played the level of competition only increased, so the team and I were stoked to come away with the dub and to book a ticket to the FIBA World Cup in Belgium.
“These wins will give the programme a boost of confidence – but we also know that the games only get harder from here on, and we have a lot more work to put in from now leading up to Worlds.”
Clarke hopes to be part of New Zealand’s line-up at the World Cup, as both teams once again aim to punch above their weight.
“New Zealand always dreams big and there is no reason why we can’t play well at the World Cup.
“With the pools being released we’re set to go up against powerhouses like USA and France so I think it’s a great opportunity to put on for New Zealand and to make a name for ourselves as serious contenders.”
The Crelan FIBA 3×3 World Cup 2022 is being held from 21-26 June in Antwerp, Belgium.
Men’s category, Pool A
- New Zealand
- Puerto Rico
Women’s category, Pool B
- New Zealand