FIBA 3×3 x NBL 3×3 Pro Hustle Tour: What Qualification to the World Tour Means
With the NBL 3×3 Pro Hustle Tour being awarded Quest status earlier in the year, FIBA have opened up the pathway for Australian 3×3 teams to progress onto the world stage of 3×3 basketball.
The move means that every stop on the NBL 3×3 Pro Hustle Tour provides the chance for the winning team to travel overseas to play in further FIBA 3×3 World Tour events. This is a long-term win for 3×3 in Australia, a country which is already looking ahead to qualification for the sport’s maiden Olympic Games appearance at Tokyo 2020.
THE STORY SO FAR
After two thrilling events, both the Geelong Supercats (winners of Pro Hustle 1 in Melbourne) and Stateside Sports (winners of Pro Hustle 2 in Geelong) have qualified themselves through to FIBA 3×3 Challenger events, in Shanghai and Penang respectively.
Winning a Challenger event would see that team progress onto a World Tour Masters event, and from there, the sky’s the limit.
With that knowledge in mind, we move on to Pro Hustle 3 in Darwin – the NBL 3×3 Pro Hustle Tour ‘Quest Final’ – which represents the last chance for teams to secure a spot on the FIBA 3×3 World Tour. Winning Pro Hustle 3 would see the champion advance to both the Ulaanbaatar Challenger as well as the Chengdu Masters, as well as a decent upgrade in prize money.
WHAT IS ‘QUEST STATUS’
In early 2019, FIBA confirmed that the NBL 3×3 Pro Hustle Tour was awarded Quest Tour Status on the FIBA 3×3 World Tour, with each stop on the tour acting as a Satellite Event.
Quests involve a multi-tournament qualification tour which ends in a Quest final. The best teams from these tournaments qualify to a pre-determined World Tour Masters. Challengers are stand-alone events from which the best teams qualify to a pre-determined World Tour Masters.
Essentially, win an NBL 3×3 Pro Hustle Tour event, and you’ll find yourself at least playing in a FIBA 3×3 World Tour Challenger.
WHAT IT MEANS AT A NATIONAL LEVEL
For 3×3 in Australia, having a presence on the FIBA 3×3 World Tour is massive.
In a sport dominated both individually and nationally by early adopters such as China, Russia, France, and Serbia (who currently occupy the top seven spots in the men’s FIBA 3×3 rankings), participating in big point events like Challengers and FIBA Cups puts Australia on the 3×3 world map. The importance of this is amplified when taking into account the ranking and qualification system that FIBA use for events like the Olympics and Commonwealth Games. It’s driven entirely by participation, which places a premium on being involved in these ‘big point’ events.
So, in Australia’s case, the more home-grown players that participate in FIBA 3×3 World Tour events, the better the chance of climbing the rankings and securing a spot in prestigious events such as the FIBA 3×3 World Cup, the Olympic Games, and the Commonwealth Games.
FIBA World Tour Event Qualification
Pro Hustle 1 Winners: GEELONG SUPERCATS (Q) Shanghai Challenger (CHINA) 27-28 July
Pro Hustle 2 Winners: STATESIDE SPORTS (Q) Penang Challenger (MALAYSIA) the 11-12 May
Pro Hustle 3 Winners // Pro Tour Champions: Qualify for Ulaanbaatar Challenger (MONGOLIA) 8-9 June & Chengdu Masters (CHINA) 1-2 June
For further information on the FIBA 3×3 Competition Network, CLICK HERE.
To get your tickets to the NBL 3×3 Pro Hustle Tour Finals in Darwin, head to www.3x3hustle.com/darwin