The FIBA 3x3 U18 Europe Cup 2019 will be played with 12 men’s and 12 women’s teams on September 6-8 in Tbilisi, Georgia.
With both Georgian teams already qualified thanks to being hosts, Belgium (women) and Hungary (men) also earned their ticket after winning the competition last year. Ukraine, Romania, Estonia, Russia (men) and Ukraine, Romania, Russia and Netherlands (women) also are Georgia-bound thanks to their position in the FIBA 3x3 U18 Federation Ranking,
For the rest? They will need to win their ticket on the 3x3 court this weekend in Rieti (Italy), Szolnok (Hungary) and Voiron (France).
In Voiron, the French hosts will be the team to beat. Our biggest fans will remember Felix Bastien has ice in his veins.
The women's team will have some familiar faces too with Olivia Yale, who won silver at the Youth Olympic Games last year and Axelle Mikorek, who led France to bronze earlier this year at the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup in Mongolia.
Belarus, Czech Republic and Israel all won medals in the past at the FIBA 3x3 U18 Europe Cup and will be the other teams to watch in Voiron for the 2 tickets available (in each gender).
Is Italy the most loaded qualifier in the men's side? Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Serbia... two of them won't make it to Georgia, and don't sleep on Ireland. Last year, the Irish shocked the U18 category by making it to the U18 Europe Cup for the first time. Can they do it twice in a row? In the women's category, Spain and Italy are the main favorites to advance to the 3x3 U18 Europe Cup. Italy will feature 3 players who just won the U18 European title in basketball, including 16-year-old rising star Martina Spinelli.
Last, but not least, Szolnok will host the most unpredictable qualifier in the women's side. Can Hungary use the home crowd advantage against all of Switzerland, Latvia, Turkey, Lithuania and Greece. On the men's side, it will also be a question mark who stamps their tickets to Tbilisi. With Hungary already qualified (2018 winners), U18 World Cup runner-ups Turkey are the favorites to win the qualifier, but don't sleep on 2017 winners Belgium, or 3x3 powerhouses Latvia and Slovenia.
In all qualifiers, teams will be divided into 2 pools. The 1st and 2nd-ranked teams of each pool will qualify for the semi-finals. The winners of the semi-finals will qualify to the FIBA 3x3 U18 Europe Cup 2019. Teams will not continue playing games after they have qualified or have been eliminated from contention. Meaning: no classification games and no final between the semi-final winners will be played.