The Opals 3x3 Basketball Team (Picture: Basketball Australia/Twitter)

The Australian women's 3x3 basketball team has taken home the silver medal at the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup after failing to defend their title in Marina Bay, Singapore.

The Australian women’s 3×3 basketball team has taken home silver at the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup after failing to defend their title in Marina Bay, Singapore. The Chinese team capped off a dominant run by defeating the Australians to win their maiden championship 14-10.

Appearing at the first FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup for the first time in three years, the Opals had high hopes after claiming the gold in 2017 and 2019. Despite failing to claim top honours again, the Opals have qualified for the FIBA 3×3 World Cup in 2023 in Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines.

Within the Asia Cup the Australians looked red-hot, defeating Mongolia (21-10) and Indonesia (21-13) to book a place in the final with China who looked menacing dispatching both Thailand and Japan. Indonesia finished third overall, beating out Japan for the bronze medal.

Anneli Maley, Marena Whittle, Lauren Mansfield and Lauren Scherf made up the Australian women’s 3×3 basketball side, with Maley and Whittle providing experience. Maley continued her meteoric rise in basketball, adding team of the tournament honours to her WNBL MVP from the past season.

Maley debuted in 3×3 basketball for the Opals back in 2015, with Whittle debuting three years after, both becoming 3×3 regulars.

The Australians entered the Asia Cup as the 15th seed, choosing to blood experienced Australian WNBL players Lauren Mansfield and Lauren Scherf, who made her first national 3×3 team appearance.

Despite the result, the highlight for the Aussies was Maley’s team of the tournament selection, named alongside Lili Wang from China (MVP of the tournament) and Kimberley Pierre-Louis from Indonesia.

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3×3 basketball will feature at Birmingham in the Commonwealth Games later this July. This will be the first time it is included as a sport with men’s, women’s and wheelchair counterparts in the Commonwealth Games after making its debut in the Olympics in Tokyo 2020.

Australia has qualified in all four formats of 3×3 for the Commonwealth Games with the Opals, Boomers, Gliders and Rollers set to make a splash in Birmingham.

3×3 rules began becoming standardised in the 2000s, developed by FIBA to make basketball the most popular community sport in the world. At it’s core are the fundaments of basketball and combines it with streetball elements to engage the community within basketball worldwide.

Games run for either 10 minutes or first to 21 points, which ever happens first. There is a 12 second shot clock with four players per team, three on court.

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