Local Stars Win Singapore Big Three!
Intensity and tough, physical play was the order of the day at the inaugural Singapore Big Three this past Sunday, as the teams battled it out for the chance to represent our country at the FIBA Masters World Tour for Asia. The FIBA-endorsed event was the first of its kind in Singapore, as it presented the winning team of the Men’s Open category with the opportunity to travel to Vladivostok in Russia, where they will face off against 15 other top teams from around Asia. The winning team in that competition will in turn get to compete against the champions from various continents at the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Final in Miami this September. Thus, with such prestige at stake, the big guns came out in full force for this competition, as Siglap Basketball Club and U Sport/Nebo each fielded several teams in an attempt to clinch the title. The two teams that most had their eyes on, however, were Pes E and PSRZ. The former featured local stars Hong Weijian, Lim Wai Sian, Leong Wai Meng and Tan Chin Hong, whereas the latter hailed from Russia and consisted of four burly foreigners ready to earn their way back to their homeland. It was no wonder then, that the competition was brutal right from the start, as Nexus International School was filled with the intense atmosphere of 12 teams out for blood. In arguably the toughest and most physical 3on3 competition to date locally, much blood was spilled and battle scars were aplenty as each team saw the grand prize as rightfully its own. By the end of the first round, only four teams still remained standing, with the shocker undoubtedly being PSRZ’s unceremonious exit in the qualifiers, as their complete lack of outside shooting and relatively slow feet on defense proved to be their undoing when matched up against the guard play of Siglap Basketball Club and U-Sport. The other early favourites, Pes E, lived up to all expectations and made it to the finals, shaking off the rust from old injuries as they advanced to face Team Siglap for the gold. Eventually, the formerly-injured stars from Pes E prevailed against some top-notch play from Team Siglap, and will be representing our nation with pride at a much grander stage in Russia. JUMPSHOT wishes them all the best for the FIBA Masters World Tour for Asia, and hopefully beyond! In keeping with the philosophy of FIBA 3x3, which espouses the merits of 3x3 basketball for all levels of the game, Women’s Open, Boys Under 20 and Boys Under 16 categories were open for competition as well. For the Women’s Open category, the quartet of Alanna Lim, Pauline Ang, Shermaine See and Priscilla Han secured the bragging rights as the top female team present, while the girls from Team JUMPSHOT did us proud by finishing in 3rd and 4th place as well. In the Boys categories, the Under 20 title went to Nebo 14’s Zhou Zhen Qiang, Bryan Lau, Ng Bing Yao and Poh Wei Hao, while the razzle-dazzle of Canberra Mix’s guards Aaron Sim and Anthony Tan as well as the high-flying acrobatics of dunk contest winner Leon Kwek brought home the Under 16 crown.