THE Philippines will have a challenging task as hosts of the fifth staging of the Fiba 3×3 World Cup set from June 8 to 12 at the Philippine Arena, as both the Filipino men and women’s team ended up in loaded brackets after the official draw results on Tuesday.
On the men’s side, the Philippine team is joined in Pool C by world No.3 Russia (third place in the 2014 tournament), fifth-ranked Brazil, Asia’s top 3×3 team Mongolia (ranked 10th in the world) and No. 25 Canada.
The 40 participating teams (20 men’s and 20 women’s) were divided into 8 pools of 5 after the automatic seeding of the 5th edition of the FIBA 3×3 World Cup, which will be staged in the Philippines on June 8-12, 2018.
The reigning champions will get busy early in the competition. Serbia’s men are in for a rematch of last year’s World Cup against the Netherlands while Russia’s women will meet 2-time winners USA.
Besides the Netherlands, Serbia will face 2014 European Champions Romania, New Zealand and Kyrgyzstan in Pool A.
Russia and USA’s women will be joined by Andorra, Iran and Uganda in Pool C.
The seeding is conducted automatically according to the FIBA 3×3 Federation Ranking of each national federation at the April 1, 2018 cut-off date.
The Filipino hosts are up to quite a challenge in Pool C’s men category. Russia won bronze in 2014 and remained a 3×3 powerhouse since then. Mongolia upset both Australia and New Zealand last year to win gold at home at the Asia Cup. Brazil and Canada have not brought home any silverware in senior national team competitions but both countries have had successful professional 3×3 teams at the FIBA 3×3 World Tour.
Pool B will be highlighted by 2016 European champions Slovenia and also feature Ecuador, Estonia, Japan and Poland.
Last year’s Europe Cup gold and bronze medalists will meet in Pool D. Latvia and Ukraine will have good company too with Croatia, Jordan and Nigeria.
In the women’s category, the Filipino hosts had another challenging pairing in Pool D with last year’s silver medalists Hungary but also Spain and the Netherlands, who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively at the Europe Cup in 2017. Germany will complete the pool.
2016 World Champions Czech Republic will star in Pool A, together will Italy, Malaysia, Turkmenistan and Venezuela.
Last but not least, Pool B features 2012 silver medalists France besides Argentina, China, Kazakhstan and Switzerland.
The top-two placed teams from each pool will advance to a standard knock-out round which starts at the quarter-finals stage, on the last day of competition.
Fans can find more information about the event on the official competition website and react to the seeding on social media with the hashtag #3x3WC.