YICHANG (China) - Dominant China will look to shine at home yet again, but the returning Australia stand in their way in the FIBA 3x3 Yichang Stop 2023 on August 4 - 5.
Let’s run down the fourteenth edition of the competition.
The odds have never been more in favor of the reigning Queens of the Women’s Series. Starting off the season with a win in Wuhan, China will look to make good on the home support yet again as the tournament returns to their home nation.
The scintillating Lili Wang show will make its return who has been the orchestrating wizard for the side, unlocking the best from her teammates who fell just a step short in Edmonton against Canada. ZhiTing Zhang and Ji Yuan Wan will run the paint while Kun Huang and Wang will be set to light up the opposition from deep. If anyone can lead China to the promised land, it is Wang and co.
However, it won’t be a cakewalk, not with the returning Aussies taking the court. The two teams kicked off the Women’s Series in Wuhan against each other. Though Australia weren't at full strength, it was China that emerged victorious in Wuhan. Most recently, the sides faced off in the FIBA 3x3 World Cup Bronze medal game. China was undoubtedly hobbled, but it was ultimately Australia who took home bronze. If their paths cross this time, there will be nothing to dispute.
Bronze winning Marena Whittle, Lauren Mansfield and Anneli Maley will return, joined by Emma Clarke. Perhaps the most clinical and lethal side on their day, Australia will be one of the sides to beat come August 4.
There is the matter of retribution, which will be set to come in full force with Germany. The side lost narrowly to China in OT in the Quarterfinals in Edmonton, being just a missed free throw away from progressing. The side have had a few “almost”s this season, and if Sonja Greinacher has her say, that ends in Yichang.
Sc. Yuanda have been the perennial dark horse of the Women’s Series, on their day having the shooting ability and skill to beat anyone in front of them. They made it all the way to the Semifinals before losing to Australia in Wuhan in the first stop. With a similar concoction brewing, it would hardly be surprising to see the Chinese side make waves at home.
The Netherlands have the pedigree, losing in the finals to Neftchi in Shusha. Their size and scoring ability has caused havoc in the Women’s Series, led by Julia Jorritsma and Janis Boonstra. It will be yet another offensive showcase by the Dutch in China.
The grit-and-grind Poland side will be returning to make a statement as well. They lost to France in Edmonton, struggling to find the same defensive momentum that has seen them compete in the later rounds of the tournament. Recent tournaments have shown that a team is just a run away from finding themselves at the top. With the clutch shotmaking and gritty defense, Poland have what it takes to be a constant threat in the competition.
Pool A: China, Romania, Malaysia
Pool B: Germany, Mongolia, Australia
Pool C: Sc. Yuanda (CHN), Poland, Thailand
Pool D: Netherlands, Hungary, Wuhan Sanfran (CHN)
How to watch
The action goes down in China on August 4-5 and you can catch it all on the FIBA 3x3 YouTube channel