FIBA director hopes 3x3 basketball can make Tokyo 2020

Matt Jones 26/10/2016
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Golf, kitesurfing and rugby sevens might have very little in common with 3×3 basketball, but Alex Sanchez is hoping the shortened version of the game can follow in the trio’s footsteps and make its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020.

Sanchez, the International Basketball Federation’s (FIBA) 3×3 director, has been with the game since its humble beginnings as a white paper proposition in 2010.

The FIBA 3×3 World Tour was born in 2012 and now, just four short years later, Sanchez is cautiously optimistic of the sport appearing on the grandest stage of all in four years’ time.

“We will do everything possible to make this happen,” said Sanchez yesterday at the press conference ahead of the World Tour’s seasonending final in Abu Dhabi.

“We hope this event (in Abu Dhabi) helps us to become an Olympic sport. We are cautiously optimistic. It has been a success at the Youth Olympics. We are in most of the multi-sport games, European, Islamic and Asian Games, it’s a long list, but it’s never enough. I want us to drive for more.

“The additions of new sports to the Olympics earlier this year makes our case very strong. It’s a dream. It will still be a dream if the decision is no, or maybe that will be a nightmare, but we are optimistic.”

FIBA will present its case to the International Olympic Committee in February next year, with a decision expected by July.

“It is already a part of the Asian Games in 2018 and events like this help us to grow the sport and make it better,” added Sanchez.

A total of 12 teams will take to the Zayed Sports City court Thursday and Friday to decide who will take the 2016 Abu Dhabi title, with local side Novi Sad Al Wahda the twotime defending champions.

Sanchez admits he has been amazed by the development and growth in popularity of 3×3 basketball in the last six years, and believes Abu Dhabi has had a big part to play.

“Last year the quarter-finals were held here at Nation Towers and I think it was the best quarterfinals we’ve ever had,” said Sanchez. “I’m convinced with help from the Abu Dhabi Sports Council it will become even better this year. It’s been a long season but we have here the best teams on the World Tour and we expect them all to put on the most competitive tournament of 3×3 action to date.

“Abu Dhabi is the flagship tournament of the 3×3 calendar. The final is the pinnacle of the season. It’s going to be the most competitive event ever. We started with a white paper in 2010 then the World Tour started in 2012. We thought that was the key ingredient to make the sport self-sustaining.

“We are now in the fifth year. The prize money here has been growing, it will double next year which helps to attract better players and maybe help the sport go professional. We are heading in the right direction.”

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WATCH: Harlem Globetrotters take over Dubai

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The Harlem Globetrotters were in Dubai last week to promote anti-bullying among schoolchildren and give youngsters a glimpse of their staggering ball skills.

We even caught up with the first female Globetrotter in over 20 years, a piece that you can read here.

Did you see the Globetrotters during their trip and do you think they are the greatest team of tricksters in sport’s history?

Tell us by commenting below, using #360fans on Twitter or getting in touch via Facebook.









This video originally appeared on the official Harlem Globetrotters’ Facebook Page, here.



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Ice no match for fire in Shreyas Memorial Basketball

Jay Asser 9/10/2016
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Shijas Backer’s 24 points led the way for champions in the competition’s final, which yielded a 77-68 result at Hartland International School on Friday.

Despite forming just two weeks earlier due to the tournament’s style of mixing and matching players, Team Fire looked like a squad that had plenty of experience together.

From tip-off, their passing was crisp, unselfishness high and ball movement aplenty. Team Ice began with a zone defence that only played into Team Fire’s hands as they probed for open looks both inside and out.

Point guard Backer, who earned the tournament’s Most Promising Player award, took full advantage of open perimeter looks and splashed a handful of 3-pointers, while adding fast break layups in transition.

Fire’s captain Belal Abiad finished with only two points, but helped orchestrate the plan of attack both from the bench and on the floor.

“We had our ups and downs, but as you saw in the last quarter, we started to get the ball moving from side to side and the guys knocked down some big shots,” he said. “Everyone on the team, my hat goes off to them, they did really, really well. It was a definite team effort.”

Team Ice were paced by Lloyd Edjuto, who had a game-high 34 points in a losing effort. His performance in the final added to the resume he built during the two weeks of play as he walked away as Player of the Tournament.

“It was really competitive,” Edjuto said. “Our rotation was kind of short because a couple of our guys weren’t here. We played as a team though, we were just unfortunate.”

The tournament had its highest amount of players and teams, which helped a worthy cause as the proceeds went to Snehasadan Home for Homeless in India to help children in need.

Rakesh Rathore, founder of the tournament, began the competition in memory of his son who died at the age 10.

“We create a platform where people can come and enjoy the game and perform with players who are better and more skills. That’s why we’re at it and inspired,” Rathore said. “Seeing all these players coming in every year, seeing the numbers increasing, it’s amazing.”

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