FIBA 3×3 Women’s World Cup Qualifier Australian Preview
A mix of chemistry and talent should help the Australian women deliver a positive result at this weekend’s FIBA 3×3 World Cup Qualifiers, according to Australian 3×3 talent pathways manager Dave Biwer.
Bec Cole, Marena Whittle, Keely Froling and Alice Kunek will lead the Australian charge in Puerto Rico this weekend, as they look to stamp their ticket to June’s World Cup in Amsterdam.
The trio of Cole, Whittle and Froling played together with Spectres iAthletic during last month’s NBL 3×3 Pro Hustle tour, and Biwer believes inserting Kunek into that mix gives Australia an extremely tough squad to beat.
“From a skillset point of view over the last couple of years, I feel like the Australian talent is definitely there,” Biwer said.
“What we come up against tournament after tournament when we are talking national team is experience, but we are starting to get there.
“That team of Froling, Marena and Bec had the opportunity to play quite a bit in the Hustle.
“The inserting one is Kunek but I think we should be ok. With that kind of talent, she is a powerful woman, I think she is going to be a great add.
“I think we should have a good tournament, I would expect a very good result from the women.”
Australia’s first pool game is against Uganda on Sunday morning at 6:40am AEST. They then play host nation Puerto Rico at 8:20am AEST, before facing Estonia on Monday at 1:50am AEST.
All games will be streamed on the 3x3Hustle Facebook page.
Spectres iAthletic dominated the Darwin 3×3 Pro Hustle last weekend, as Cole, Whittle and Froling displayed the kind of cohesion you need to excel in the shortened format of basketball.
Biwer believes all three players complement each other’s skillsets, which will be a major positive for Australia this weekend.
“I think that combination of chemistry and experience between that team is going to be all important,” he said.
“Marena I think is a perfect example. Once Bec was back into her role as a playmaking guard, all of a sudden Marena was shining. I think all three of them played amazing.
“Marena from Pro 2 to Pro 3 was completely a different player. Defensively she was fantastic and offensively she was fantastic.
“Just each of them knowing what they need to do. Not even the spacing or the back screens or whatever, just knowing what their particular role is and what they have to do, I think will be key.
“Marena can hit two pointers, Keely can hustle and get extra shots, she is rolling to the basket so well. Each of them just did what they were supposed to do.
“They let Bec drive, they let Keely roll, they let Marena shoot, and it made them look amazing.”
Kunek is Australia’s number two ranked women’s 3×3 player, so Biwer has no concerns with her ability to be able to find her spot within the team.
“I think Alice’s IQ will slot right into that and especially when you’re slotting in such a scoring threat, she doesn’t have to figure things out, she just has to go and score,” he said.
“She is an amazing player and she will be a huge asset for us.”