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Everything you need to know before FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2024

DEBRECEN (Hungary) - It all comes down to these four days of intense action as hopes and dreams are on the line at the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2024

Here is all the information you need to know as we wrap up the trifecta of Olympic qualifying tournaments at iconic 3x3 destination Debrecen. 

Where can I watch?

The action runs from May 16-19, and you can follow it live on TV and on social media on the FIBA 3x3 YouTube Channel.

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Who is competing and what is at stake?

There are 32 teams - 16 in each gender - competing in Debrecen. There are three Olympic tickets per gender up for grabs.

What are the pools?

Men's

Pool A: Lithuania, Switzerland, Germany, Madagascar
Pool B: Austria, Puerto Rico, Israel, Hungary
Pool C: France, Canada, Spain, Egypt
Pool D: Mongolia, Belgium, Japan, Poland

Women's

Pool A: Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Tunisia
Pool B: Canada, Lithuania, Czechia, Chile
Pool C: Spain, Japan, Egypt, Mongolia
Pool D: Hungary, Netherlands, Italy, Israel 

Who are the favorites?

It's tough to separate such loaded draws, but let's give it a crack. In the men's, No.1 seed Lithuania were so close in Utsunomiya to booking a ticket, but they lived to fight another day and will need bucket getter Darius Tarvydas to splash on the half-court. 

Austria, France and Mongolia all fell agonizingly short in UOQTs, but have lost none of their swagger even though the stakes are now raised and the pressure has intensified. 

Popular European teams Belgium and Switzerland have plenty of players who can light up the half-court.

Brilliant Belgians Dennis Donkor and Thibaut Vervoort pack a mighty one-two punch, while Swiss Magician Gilles Martin can perform tricks with the Wilson in his hands. 

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There are new-gen teams ready to steal the show with talented Germany and Puerto Rico filled with some of the hottest prospects in 3x3.

You don't want to miss a second of German high-flyers Denzel Agyeman and Fabian Giessmann, who take turns posterizing opponents, while Puerto Rican sniper Antonio Ralat is a bad man in the clutch. 

There are plenty of dark horses contenders, including Spain, Poland and African powers Egypt and Madagascar. 

In the women's, Canada came mighty close to securing a ticket in Utsunomiya and you know they'll be arriving in Debrecen extra motivated. 

No.1 seed Germany, the Netherlands and Poland have also endured heartbreak in the UOQTs, but should feel battle-hardened.

Hungary have been haunted by their agonizing defeat to Italy in the same event from three years ago, but they have a chance to exorcise their demons in front of their passionate fans.   

 

European powers Spain and Lithuania have the pedigree to clinch a ticket, while Japan had a taste of the Olympic stage in Tokyo and flourished with a barnstorming run. 

With speedy Shizuka Takada leading their charge, Japan should be a contender and so too African power Egypt and Mongolia, who have already been a success story in 2024 after winning an emotional Asia Cup bronze medal. 

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Who are the players to watch? 

There will be more stars in Debrecen than at the Grammys. In the men's, Franck Seguela can do everything on the half-court as he leads France's charge, while sharpshooter Anand Ariunbold can perform the impossible as he proved during an unforgettable performance at the Asia Cup. 

 

Talk about bucket getters and we just have to mention Przemyslaw Zamojski, who might again be the Pole who stole the show, while Japan's Thomas Kennedy has been a flamethrower to start 2024. 

Dunking machine Filip Kramer will arrive in Debrecen via Austrian Airlines, while Canadian Bikramjit Gill is an OG slammer jammer. 

In the women's, we just have to start with the Plouffe sisters who are the heart and soul of Canada. If one doesn't embarrass you then the other will. 

They aren't the only stars who can dominate the paint because Sonja Greinacher and Noortje Driessen are athletic beasts. 

 

It won't just be about talent, because guts and determination will prove a deciding factor and Sandra Ygueravide and Klaudia Papp have those characteristics in spades. 

There's a storm forecast in Debrecen and that's because lethal Lithuanian Kamile Nacickaite can make it hail from deep. 

And we just have to mention Egypt's Nadine Selaawy, who has long been rated as one of the very best players in Africa and she's now ready to take over the world. 

FIBA