8 Mar 2023
VIENNA (Austria) - Defending champions Serbia (men's) and France (women's) face tough early challenges as the pools were unveiled for the FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2023.
The marquee event in Austria's historic capital of Vienna will be held on May 30-June 4 and there are four pools of five teams for both men's and women's categories.
There will be 40 teams - 20 per gender - competing in the eighth edition of the showpiece event, where there is added incentive with the medalists qualifying for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
In the men's, five-time winners Serbia will face European powers France and Germany in a loaded Pool A, while FIBA 3x3 AmeriCup 2022 silver medalist Brazil and FIBA 3x3 Africa Cup 2022 champs Madagascar will also prove formidable opponents.
Two-time AmeriCup champs and World Cup 2019 winners USA are the No.2 seed but have their hands full in Pool B, which might well be the 'Group of Death'.
Tokyo Olympic gold medalists Latvia have won almost every prize in 3x3 except a World Cup although they finished with a silver in the World Cup 2019.
Host Austria and FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup 2022 champs Australia will ensure it's not a two-horse race, while the fifth team will be the winner from the FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2023 qualifier in Eilat, Israel in May.
No.3 seed Lithuania will be aiming to go one step better having won silver at the World Cup 2022 but will face serious competition in Pool C against European heavyweights Belgium and Poland.
AmeriCup 2022 silver medalist Puerto Rico will be confident of a deep run, while the fifth team will be the second placed from qualification.
No.4 seed Netherlands are hoping to continue their strong World Cup record having twice before been runners-up, but they will need to fend off strong challenges in Pool D from Mongolia, Switzerland and Japan. The fifth team will be the third-placed from the qualifier.
Pool A: Serbia, France, Germany, Brazil, Madagascar
Pool B: USA, Latvia, Austria, Australia, WCQ
Pool C: Lithuania, Belgium, Poland, Puerto Rico, WCQ
Pool D: Netherlands, Mongolia, Switzerland, Japan, WCQ
In the women's, defending champs France will play Netherlands in a re-match of last year's FIBA 3x3 Europe Cup final. Spain, hosts Austria and AmeriCup 2022 silver medalists Brazil round out Pool A.
No.2 seed Germany headline Pool B and face Asian powerhouse Japan, Poland, Africa Cup 2022 champs Egypt and the top team from the World Cup Qualifier.
Tokyo Olympic gold medalists USA will face a Pool C blockbuster against neighbors Canada, who won silver at last year's World Cup. Mongolia, Hungary and a the second team from the Qualifier will round out the group.
Pool D will be a titanic battle featuring No.4 seed Lithuania and former champs China and Italy, while Romania and the 3rd best-ranked team from the World Cup Qualifier are the other teams in the group.
Pool A: France, Netherlands, Spain, Austria, Brazil
Pool B: Germany, Japan, Poland, Egypt, WCQ
Pool C: USA, Canada, Mongolia, Hungary, WCQ
Pool D: Lithuania, China, Romania, Italy, WCQ