2023 FISU Oceania Continental Qualifying Tournament Concludes with Thrilling Battles in Auckland
The 2023 FISU Oceania Continental Qualifying Tournament (QT) came to an exhilarating close on July 22nd in Auckland. Proudly hosted by AUT, the two-day event featured male and female university teams from across the Oceania region competing for a coveted spot at the FISU 3×3 University World Cup, set to take place in October 2023.
The FISU 3×3 University World Cup is a highly anticipated event on the FISU calendar, where university teams represent their institutions on the international stage. The Continental Qualifying Tournament acts as a gateway for teams to secure a spot in the prestigious University World Cup draw. Only one male and one female team from Oceania can earn the opportunity to compete against the best university teams worldwide.
In the men's qualifying competition, the participating universities were the University of Canterbury, Monash University, the University of Sydney, the University of New Caledonia, and Victoria University of Wellington.
The women's competition featured teams from Lincoln University, the University of Sydney, AUT, and the University of Wollongong.
In a captivating display of skill and determination, the men's and women's teams from leading universities battled it out during the pool play on July 21st to determine seedings for the following day’s finals.
The AUT women were the first New Zealand team on court, defeating the University of Wollongong 10-9 in a low-scoring match up. The Lincoln University women then made it two wins for NZ teams against Wollongong, demonstrating their prowess with a convincing 22-13 win.
The University of Sydney women started to look like the tournament favourites as the day progressed, beating both of the NZ teams and finishing the day with 3 wins from their 3 matches. In the match-up of the two NZ women’s teams, it was AUT who came out on top thanks to some hot shooting and big defensive stops to win 21-19.
Both NZ teams in the men’s tournament opened with a win as the UC men defeated the University of New Caledonia 22-11, and the Victoria University of Wellington men held out a fast-finishing University of Sydney team 18-17.
In the NZ derby, it was Victoria University of Wellington who emerged triumphant 21-18 as they hit some big shots down the stretch and disrupted UC’s flow on the defensive end. Despite the loss it was the men from Canterbury who finished on top of the standings at the end of Day 1 thanks to a superior points differential, with VuW sitting below Monash in 3rd.
Day 2 brought with it the knockout matches, as the NZ teams had to win to stay in contention for the University World Cup spots on offer. Finishing in 2nd and 3rd after Day 1, the AUT and Lincoln women were matched up in the second semi-final with the winner set to face Sydney who had cruised past Wollongong in the opening semi-final. Lincoln University hit the court with a point to prove and did so, employing a suffocating defence to defeat AUT 22-11.
In the women’s grand final it was Sydney who made the faster start against Lincoln, going up by 6 after 4 minutes of play. The gap remained constant throughout the middle stages of the match as both teams traded baskets, but thanks to some big 2’s from Lauryn Hippolite and Rosalia Samia it closed to 20-18 with less than a minute to play. However, it wasn’t to be for Lincoln as Carla Pitman made the game-winning layup off the drive for the University of Sydney.
Victoria University of Wellington were the first NZ men’s team to hit the court in the knockout phase, facing a strong Monash team. The contest was extremely tight as both teams used their speed and physicality to quickly push the score to 14-14, before Monash applied the brakes on Victoria and eventually came out victorious 21-17.
The UC men were the remaining hope for NZ, as they faced the University of Sydney in the second men’s semi-final. Despite having a lacklustre day 1, the Sydney men displayed a range of determination and athleticism that had been missing from their performances. Their ball movement on offence and hustle on defence made things difficult for UC as they hit another layup to win 21-17.
In the end it was the two teams from Sydney who claimed the University World Cup qualifying spots, with the men defeating Monash 21-18 in an all-Australian grand final.
The 2023 FISU Oceania Continental Qualifying Tournament showcased the exceptional talent and passion of university 3x3 basketball teams from the Oceania region. Congratulations to the University of Sydney (men) and the University of Sydney (women) for earning their well-deserved places in the FISU 3×3 University World Cup, where they will proudly represent their universities and compete against the best teams from around the world.
You can re-watch all of the day 2 action here on the replay of the live stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ioQBaL7kVw. For more information and updates on the FISU 3×3 University World Cup, visit the official FISU website.
Posted: Mon 31 Jul 2023