SEA Games: 3x3 cagers eye improvements after daunting debut in Hanoi

3 days ago 61

HANOI - Playing in a major 3x3 basketball competition for the first time, the men's and women's national teams knew it would be a challenging campaign at the SEA Games in Hanoi.

While both teams finished sixth out of seventh in their respective categories, they still had plenty of positives to take from their outing.

After the competition ended on Saturday (May 14), women's captain Lim Jia Min said that while the players were not as used to the game, they still had an interesting and fun experience.

She said: "Ten minutes pass by very quickly so you have to be in the game at the right time. But in that sense, it's easier because it's anybody's game and everyone has a chance (to win).

"We could be better but we tried our best and did what we could. With more time and exposure playing against other teams, we can get more used to the intensity and figure out a way to prepare better."

Three-a-side basketball is played on half a court, with the game ending after a 10-minute period or after a team reaches 21 points. Three-pointers are worth two points while lay-ups are worth one.

Both teams played a single round robin each, with the top four teams progressing to the semi-finals at the Thanh Tri Gymnasium. The event took place from May 13 to 14.

The men's team won two matches while the women's team won one. The final will be contested on Saturday night between hosts Vietnam and Thailand, while the Philippines had to settle for third.

Thailand won the women's title after beating Vietnam 21-19 in the final. Indonesia were third.

Only half a court was used but the stands around the entire basketball court were filled with drums, with the loudest cheers reserved for the Vietnamese teams.

The non-stop cheering was matched by the sound of shoes squeaking and balls bouncing as players dodged, dunked and defended.

Confined to a smaller field of play, the players' movements were quicker and sharper compared to the five-a-side game.

While men's co-captain Leon Kwek was slightly disappointed they did not win a medal, he was still proud of the team and added that they were still trying to find their identity.

The 25-year-old explained: "The Vietnamese rely on the two-pointers while the Philippines like to play one point at a time. We have to (use these games to) figure out what's something we're good at and stick to that and see how it evolves.

"It's ...

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