The Singapore team could not qualify for (FIBA) Asian Cup 3v3 quarter-finals after losses in all of their main draw matches for both the men’s and women’s divisions of the tournament.
The fifth edition of the (FIBA) 3v3 Asia Cup was held for the first time in Singapore at the Marina Bay Sands Event Plaza from July 6-10.
A total of 51 other teams from 29 countries across Asia competed for a spot at the upcoming FIBA 3×3 World Cup in 2023.
While both the men’s and women’s teams in Singapore saw their campaigns cut short – which was to be expected given they faced the best teams in Asia – the experience of regional competition nonetheless proved to be valuable experience with a handful of takeaways.
The venue for this year’s FIBA 3×3 Asian Cup offered a touch of the usual backdrop, as the tournament was held at the Marina Bay Sands Event Plaza with an outdoor setting instead of the usual OCBC Arena or the indoor hall of Singapore Basketball. Center.
Although it was out of the ordinary, Shermaine See of the Singapore women’s team said hosting the tournament in a “tourist and business destination” brought several benefits.
She said: “When people pass by, they will be curious to see what is happening, and that kind of helps us (Singapore basketball) to come out.
“Although there are a lot of people playing basketball in Singapore, I think in terms of national support for basketball, we don’t get a lot of attention. Thanks to FIBA 3×3, it can in somehow help people learn more about the national basketball team, which helps to increase our presence among Singaporeans.
His teammate Wang Qin Chin also said the exposure the team received from participating in the tournament can also potentially inspire the future generation to return to the sport.
She said, “I think it’s really good visibility for us here in Singapore. It can inspire the younger ones in the crowd to aspire to be like us and compete professionally in basketball in the future.
While Team Singapore’s campaign may have been short-lived, there were plenty of valuable experiences and learning points from their participation in the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup.
For Mah Jun Hao of the Singapore men’s team, playing against two of the best countries in Asia – the Philippines and China – was a victory in itself despite the results, due to the learning experiences they gleaned.
The 18-year-old felt it was a “really good opportunity” to playing against older, more experienced competitors at such a young age.
He added: “Our team is also quite young, so participating in the tournament is also a very good playing experience.”
“It was a very good experience to play against two of the best countries in Asia because we learned a lot from them, including the pace of the game and the patience on the pitch.”
Singapore men’s captain Lim Jun Yuan also said the team’s performance at the 2022 Asian Cup was “more of a learning experience than a big loss”.
He particularly highlighted the team’s performance against bronze medalists China, which he called a “satisfactory performance”.
Jun Yuan said, “We just started 3×3 training about a month ago, and China probably trained for more than a year and competed in countries like Europe.
“China are such a big and versatile team, but we didn’t let them win easily because we fought until the last minute. We may have lost 7-1, but we fought back to make it a four to five point game and gave them a hard time.
Having also faced Asian powerhouses in Indonesia and Japan, the players of the women’s team also spoke about how the tournament proved to be a valuable experience for them with plenty of learning opportunities.
The women’s team’s Pauline Ang said the way the teams played and the tactical setup was “very different” from what the team experienced in training.
Shermaine explained: “Japan are much faster (than us) and in a way we can learn from them in terms of implementing our one-on-one defence. As for Indonesia, they are very big so it tests us on our physical ability and they keep coming up against us a lot on the pitch.
“I think it’s good exposure for us because we can learn from the games how we can stop them and possibly beat them in the future.”
While the home crowd may have cheered every team that stepped onto the pitch, the support they showed for the Singapore team was truly unparalleled.
Sara Choo of the women’s team talked about how she could really “feel the support” from the home crowd whenever she was on the pitch, which turned out to be an unforgettable experience.
She shared: “We never really get the chance to play big events at home because the competitions are mostly overseas, where the local crowd is always really crazy. This time we get the chance to see at how much support we have at home, and it’s really nice and very encouraging.
Jun Hao also reiterated that the match atmosphere was “really good” thanks to the supportive spectators, who came to every game Singapore played.
Jun Yuan added, “The crowd was really nice and happy, and the Singaporean fans cheering us on definitely gave us more energy.
“I hope to see more events like this in Singapore in the future.”