Monash University’s men’s 3x3 basketball team is off to New Zealand following a great showing in Sydney at the 2023 UniSport Nationals!
Monash sent three teams north for the competition of 45 sides, with the women’s division one team finishing seventh and the division two side coming in second.
But it’s the men’s side that now has hopes of going global after pulling in a silver medal at UniSport Nationals.
Team Organiser and long-time team member Naoum Lazis says he made the most of the competition.
“It was amazing… the last two times we’ve sent teams there, this was my third time,” Naoum says.
“We’re always one game off the qualifying… we just had a good team (this time round). It was a great performance.”
There were blue skies for two days of the competition, but bad weather forced the teams inside on the third and final day.
Nevertheless, it didn’t dampen any spirits as the men’s side went on a seven-game winning streak to make it to the final to take on competition favourites, the University of Sydney.
“We actually had one loss in the lead-up to the final, and that was to the same University of Sydney team that ended up winning in our first game. We went on a seven-game win streak after that,” Naoum says proudly.
The end score of the final read 21-14 in favour of the home side, a high scoring contest.
But despite missing out on the gold medal, a trip to New Zealand now looms for Monash.
“The finalists from this comp qualify to represent Australia at the FISU Oceania Continental 3x3 Qualifying Tournament… it’s really exciting, we can’t wait,” Naoum says.
“Hopefully from there we can qualify for worlds. We think we’ve got a good chance.
“Last year the top two from Australia automatically qualified for worlds, this year we have to play Oceania first… but we still think we have a really good chance of winning everything.”
But failing that, in Naoum’s last semester at Monash, he hopes the foundation is set for the team’s future success.
“Hopefully we’re able to set up the Monash culture and the expectations of success going forward and these guys can go back to Oceania and worlds in the years after,” he remarks.
The FISU Oceania Continental Qualifying Tournament will be held at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand on 21-22 July 2023.
Winners of that tournament go on to the FISU University 3x3 World Cup, likely to be held in October of this year.
To view the final rankings from this year’s 3x3 Nationals click here.