Tim Keating Joins West Melbourne Stateside For Chengdu WT Masters

3x3Hustle veteran Tim Keating has joined West Melbourne Stateside for this weekend’s FIBA 3×3 World Tour Chengdu Masters.

Stateside qualified for the tournament after winning the Darwin NBL 3×3 Pro Hustle and will enter the event with a team of Keating, Cooper Wilks, Peter Crawford and Lucas Walker.

They will face Riga (the world’s number three ranked team) on Saturday at 2:55pm AEST and Gagarin (the world’s number seven ranked team) at 4:40pm AEST in their two pool games.

Keating was a key piece of TSV Reading Cinemas during this year’s 3×3 Pro Hustle and will be able to provide invaluable experience to Stateside in Chengdu this weekend.

With Tim Coenraad taking a quick personal break after a heavy international 3×3 schedule and Jeremy Kendle injured, Keating explained how he received a call-up to West Melbourne – which included ditching a holiday.

“I saw Coenraad said he wasn’t going to be playing with them over the next couple of tournaments because he is staying home with his wife and newborn, which is understandable,” Keating said.

“PC hit me up, I’ve been in Bali for a couple of weeks with my wife who I actually left in Bali to come home and get a visa.

“She wasn’t the happiest about that but she was understanding that it is a good opportunity and I’ve wanted to play on the World Tour for a long time, so I just bailed on her.”

With a new mix of players, Stateside will need to build cohesion as the World Tour event is progressing, something Keating says he is studying and assessing.

“I’ve played with PC a lot so I’m not too concerned about that side of things,” Keating said.

“I caught up with Jeremy Kendle and had a chat with him about playing with Waxy and what the best way to utilise him is, where he likes to get his buckets and how we can work together the best way. That was really good to have a chat with him about that.

“We will figure it out, we have a practice session before we jump on the court on Saturday.”

Keating also believes he provides a different skillset to what Stateside have had in the past.

“I bring something a little bit different,” Keating said.

“I’m not going to go take people off the dribble like JK does and I’m not going to be posting people up like Coenraad does but I bring a little bit of experience and a bit of strategy to the game.”

Keating has experience with both of Stateside’s opponents at the Chengdu Masters this weekend, by virtue of flight delays and bad losses.

“Last year I got stuck in Beijing with Riga,” he said.

“A flight was delayed and we were both going to Croatia for a tournament so we got stuck in the airport for a day. I know those guys alright after doing that. I’ve watched Riga a lot, I have a pretty good scout on them.

“Gagarin we actually played last year in Croatia. We lost in bad form in the last couple of minutes – one of our teammates was from Croatia and he just lost his mind and got some tech fouls and we lost on free throws in the dying seconds.

“That was a bummer, so I have animosity towards that team because of the way they won. I’m pretty keen to get one up on them this time.”

Despite being undermanned and facing some stiff opposition, Keating and the West Melbourne boys are entering Chengdu full of confidence.

“Neither of those teams are unbeatable, so we are going in with an open mind and we have nothing to lose,” Keating said.

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