3x3: GB sides fly the flag at Europe Cup qualifiers

There were mixed fortunes for Great Britain's 3x3 teams this past weekend.

Whilst the Men were able to advance to their first ever Europe Cup following a successful run, the Women fell just short of doing the same as they lost to Romania in the final.

A hard-fought 21-19 win over Israel was enough to punch the Men's ticket to Vienna, Austria on 22-25 August 2024, with Ashley Hamilton dropping 10 of GB's points.

Krumesh Patel's side would be on the other end of a close game though, dipping out 21-17 to the hosts in Bucharest.

Better and better

The men's side, consisting of NBL's Hafeez Abdul, Evan Walshe, Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye and Ashley Hamilton, went 2-1 in Pool A following an opening loss to Latvia and wins over Romania and Slovenia, advancing to then beat Greece 21-9 before their final victory.

The women, including Team England Commonwealth silver medallist Hannah Jump, alongside Claire Paxton, Hannah Robb and Savannah Wilkinson, went 1-2 in their group before hitting their stride to knock off Greece 16-11 and taking Romania all the way in the final, losing by just four points, despite a 21-12 defeat against the same opponent in group play the day before.

“I’m really proud of the guys performance throughout this whole weekend,” said Great Britain men’s 3X3 coach Julius Joseph.

“From game to game, they learned and as the games went on, they got better and better. That made the game easier for ourselves, putting in better performances, they just worked so hard in every single game, they stayed together, they stayed positive and we are just a great group of guys to have.

“It was a pleasure to coach them and I’m proud, happy and excited for them to get this opportunity to play in the FIBA 3X3 Europe Cup.”

“It was a bittersweet moment,” said Patel, discussing the women's campaign. “They did an excellent job to make the final in their first attempt together after only practising for a couple of weeks.

“To push Romania, a team that have been together for a long time, been to the Olympics, and play until the last seconds is great, but despite their experience, it’s bittersweet because we believed we could have taken them. They took advantage of our errors, but this is something we can learn and build from.

“This is the platform we are starting from to push in the next few years then it should be an excellent project for us to continue, but couldn’t be more proud of the women for their effort, they’ve been amazing, along with our strength and conditioning team and everyone involved, we will keep building as a professional programme.”

Left to right - Hamilton, Abdul, Lautier-Ogunleye and Walsh, celebrate success (GB Basketball/FIBA)

More to come

This weekend's activity continues what is becoming a busy summer for the shorter format of the sport.

BE recently hosted both Collegiate 3x3 and Academy 3x3 tournaments, both with an eye on generating future stars for the format. Dates and information for the latest summer of Ball Out 3x3 were also announced - the 10th year of its existence - with five qualifying events taking place across England in July and August.

The BE 3x3 Regional Combines are also now accepting entries, with a tasty £1,000 prize up for grabs in the senior competition.

The ever-increasing levels of 3x3 activity feed into Basketball England's 3x3 specific player pathway, with the GB 3x3 teams now going from strength-to-strength, and the men booking their spot in Vienna later this summer.

To find out more about 3x3 and to get involved, click the button below.