TORONTO, Ont. (May 10, 2021) – Despite the disruptions and uncertainty the COVID-19 pandemic has presented over the last year, Canada Basketball’s 3x3 hopefuls continue to do all they can to achieve their goal of representing Canada at the Olympic Games, as 3x3 basketball makes it’s much anticipated debut later this summer.
Steve Sir (Edmonton, AB), Kyle Landry (Calgary, AB), Jordan Jensen-Whyte (Calgary, AB), Alex Johnson (Toronto, ON), and Jordan Baker (Edmonton, AB), who have played together as members of 10th ranked Team Edmonton on the FIBA 3x3 World Tour, as well as Senior Men’s National Team member Adika-Peter McNeilly (Scarborough, ON), have continued to train out of the Edmonton EXPO Centre throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
With just a few weeks to go until the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2021 (May 26-30), a Canadian contingent of Sir, Landry, Jensen-Whyte, Johnson and Peter-McNeilly recently travelled to Europe for the final stages of preparation, including training camp and a series of exhibition games in Spain. Baker, who was recently named Head Coach of the NAIT Men’s Basketball program, has remained in Canada and is available in a reserve role.
The FIBA 3x3 Challengers – the international qualifiers to the FIBA 3x3 World Tour – are back after a 20-month hiatus and the team will take to the court in Lipik, Croatia on May 21-22 as Team Edmonton for one final tune-up before representing Canada in the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2021 the following week.
Canada, currently ranked 10th in the FIBA 3x3 Men’s Federation Rankings, is in Pool D for the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2021 along with Latvia (5th), Netherlands (6th), Croatia (25th) and Austria (28th).
The event, which will feature 40 teams (20 in each gender), divided into four pools of five teams and seeded automatically based on the 3x3 Federation Ranking. The participating teams are qualified via the FIBA 3x3 Federation Ranking (taking into account universality criteria) at the cut-off date (1 November 2019 in this case) and the results of the FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2019 (the medalists).
Each team plays the other four teams in their respective pools. The top two teams from each pool qualify for the quarter-finals and then play knock-out games all the way to the semifinals. Six tickets (three per gender) to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics – where 3x3 will make its debut – will be awarded at the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament. 3x3 was added to the Olympic Program, starting from the Tokyo 2020 Games, on June 9, 2017.
The top 3 teams in the FIBA 3x3 Ranking in the men’s category (Serbia, Russia and China), along with the Japanese hosts, have already qualified for the Olympics.
For more information about the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament Competition System, click here.