The 3x3 FISU World University League – 2018 Finals start tomorrow!
Xiamen, 14 November: It is the only global tournament that brings the world’s best university together on one court and it gets underway on Thursday, 15 November.
After months of intense competition and continental qualifiers that ran through the year, the best 3x3 Basketball teams from around the world have come together in Xiamen, China, for the fourth edition of the FISU 3x3 World University League Finals.
Among the 16 teams in the men’s and women’s fields, 10 have come through qualifying tournaments held in Oceania, Asia, Americas, Africa and Europe, while the two host teams from China – Huaqiao University and Peking University – gained automatic qualification.
“It is an incredible experience that any athlete would love to have,” says Bryan Rivera of Centre of University Studies (CEU) Mexico. “It has been a long process to get to the Finals, from the elimination stages of our country going through to the Pan American Qualifying Tournament in El Salvador.”
In addition to the 10 teams that came through the continental qualifiers, there are also 4 teams each in the men’s and women’s competition that have received wildcard entries. This includes 2016 men’s champions McGill University of Canada. They go up against Lithuanian heavyweights Vytautus Magnus University on the very first day and that’s certainly one of the matches to watch out for.
Lukas Grabauskas, captain of the Vytautus Magnus University team says, “I think it will be a really serious tournament, like a World Cup. We have been waiting for this tournament, because it is a good challenge for us. We are sure all the teams will be very strong, and it will require maximum concentration on our part.”
While his team and McGill are both strong contenders, the teams to beat are the men’s and women’s defending champions: Mon-Altius Physical Education Institute of Mongolia and Chinese Culture University of Taipei, respectively. The Mon Altius Physical Education Institute of Mongolia ruled in Xiamen last year and there’s no reason to believe the defending champions won’t do it again. This year it’s a different squad to the one that played in 2017, but all four of the current team members were also part of the Mongolian national team at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires earlier this year. So, a young team, but certainly one to keep an eye on.
The women’s champions from last year, Chinese Culture University from Chinese Taipei, arrived in Xiamen feeling confident yet again. “We actually killed it last year,” they laughed as they went through arrival and registration procedures. “But we will keep a sense of normalcy and modesty.”
Jacqui Trotto of Monash University, Australia can’t wait to get on court. “Being able to represent Australia and Monash is especially exciting,” she says. “But meeting people from all across the world, building new friendships and being part of such an enjoyable tournament is also something I’m looking forward to.”
The schedule on all four days is non-stop, with up to 24 matches in a day, courtside entertainment, Huaqiao University’s cheerleading squad and emcees who will keep the crowd on their feet. The teams have been divided into 4 Pools of 4 teams each and will play each other in round robin format through Days 1 and 2. Day 3 will witness the last 16 in action, as well as a shootout contest for women and a slam-dunk contest for men, in between matches.
Ajak Samuel, the captain of the Ndejje University team from Uganda says “We are ready for the challenge to play at the world level. We believe we are good to go and are fully prepared mentally and physically.”
The 4th and final day on 18 November is a bonanza for basketball fans, with quarterfinals, semifinals and finals all taking place one after the other.
The fast-paced format of 3x3 Basketball is tailor-made for university students and the World University League Finals are now among the prime events on FISU’s sports programme. 3x3 Basketball is also now an Olympic sport and will make its debut at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
For the moment though, all eyes are on Xiamen as the best 128 university ballers on the planet get into action mode. The unmissable action will be streamed live on all four days, here on the FISU Facebook page.
FISU's history in 3x3 Basketball goes back to just about the official start of the sport in 2010 - both the first and second World University 3x3 Basketball Championships were attributed in May 2011 to the University Sports Federations of Serbia and of Brazil, respectively. In 2012 the championship took place in Kragujevac (SRB) and in 2014 in Salvador (BRA). Since this start, FISU has played an active and role in promoting 3x3 Basketball around the globe.
The first edition of the 3x3 FISU World University League Finals was held in 2015.
The International University Sports Federation – FISU
Founded in 1949, FISU stands for Fédération Internationale du Sport Universitaire (International University Sports Federation). FISU was formed within university institutions in order to promote sports values and sports practice in harmony with the university spirit. Promoting sports values means encouraging friendship, fraternity, fair-play, perseverance, integrity and cooperation amongst students, who one day may have responsibilities and key positions in politics, economy, culture and industry.
With FISU’s motto being ‘Excellence in Mind and Body', all FISU events include educational and cultural aspects, bringing together sport and academia from all over the world to celebrate with a spirit of friendship and sportsmanship. FISU cooperates in developing its events and programmes with all major international sports and educational organisations. As major outcomes of those collaborations, in 2015, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) proclaimed the International Day of University Sport to be celebrated annually on 20 September – an event that has seen huge growth in its first few years.
FISU is composed of 174 Member Associations (National University Sports Federations). The FISU General Assembly elects the members of the FISU Executive Committee, its board of directors. A total of 14 permanent committees advise the Executive Committee in their specialised areas. For the daily administration of FISU, the FISU Executive Committee relies on the Secretary General, who is assisted by the FISU staff. FISU’s headquarters are in Lausanne, Switzerland.
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