AUSTRALIA CLAIMS FIRST STOP OF INAUGURAL FIBA 3X3 WOMEN’S SERIES

Via 3×3 Hustle.

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The team of Bec Cole, Alice Kunek, Maddie Garrick and Hanna Zavecz proved too strong for their rivals, defeating Japan 21-15 in the final.

Kunek led the way in the final, getting off to a hot start that helped fuel Australia to victory.

“It is amazing,” said Kunek.

“To come here and win this tournament is so special to us and so special to Australian basketball and the faith they have had in us.

“My teammates are amazing. Everyone is passing, everyone is moving the ball and everyone is making shots.”

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Kunek also declared Australia now has bigger things in mind.

“We got the World Cup next and we want to get a podium finish at the World Cup and then move onto the Olympics,” she said.

Australia’s biggest challenge of the event came in the semi-finals, where they were pushed to the limit by the Netherlands.

A rampaging late charge by the Netherlands had the Aussies on their heels momentarily, before Australia prevailed 12-10.

In the pool stages, Australia won three consecutive games against Mongolia, USA and France.

Mongolia gave Australia a tough fight early, but the talent of Australia overpowered their opposition, eventually running away with a convincing 21-9 victory.

Garrick’s red hot shooting got the Aussies off to a good start against USA, but the Americans would stay in the game all the way through. However, as was the case all day, Australia’s quality and cohesion was too much for their rivals to overcome, as the Aussies would win 18-14.

Finally, a 19-16 win over a gritty France team saw Australia punch their ticket directly to the semi-final stage, where they now await their opposition.

The Aussies’ gold medal means they have now won 12 games in a row on the FIBA 3×3 circuit, setting them up for a legitimate run at the FIBA 3×3 World Cup, held in Amsterdam from June 18-23.

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