The Monash University Men's Basketball team recently showcased their prowess on the global stage at the 3x3 FISU University World Cup Basketball Championships, representing Australia alongside the University of Sydney. Despite facing stiff competition from 12 top-notch universities worldwide, the team exhibited commendable skill and dedication, securing a notable 7th place finish in the prestigious tournament.
Held in Doha, Qatar, the Monash team went through a rigorous qualification process to compete, and comprised of talented students Naoum Lazis (Business), Josh Cleary (Education), Noah De Bortoli (Engineering/Science), and Tom Carroll (Psychology).
They embarked on their international journey with determination and professionalism. Their campaign began with a challenging encounter against Vytautas Magnus University from Lithuania, resulting in a hard-fought loss in the opening game.
Undeterred by the initial setback, the Monash squad displayed resilience and unity, bouncing back triumphantly in subsequent clashes. They clinched victories against formidable opponents, overpowering the University of Cape Coast and the University of Valencia, showcasing their tactical prowess and unwavering teamwork.
However, their journey through the tournament encountered a thrilling yet heart-breaking twist when they faced off against Sumy State University in a nail-biting quarter-final match. Despite a valiant effort, the Monash team narrowly missed advancing further, experiencing a setback that halted their progression towards the championship.
Additionally, the Dunk contest showcased the raw talent and skill of basketball players from various universities worldwide. In a breathtaking display of athleticism and flair, Naoum Lazis, a standout player of the Monash University Men's Basketball team, secured an impressive 3rd place in the prestigious dunk contest held as part of the Championships.
Lazis expressed gratitude for the opportunity to compete at Qatar. "The FISU 3x3 World Cup was a fantastic experience for all of us. Outside of the court, we were able to experience the Qatari culture as this was a first time for everyone in Doha, and we are all thankful to both FISU and Monash for putting this event together.”
Josh Cleary, one of the Monash Basketball players acknowledges the lifelong memories he has made in Qatar. "Meeting new people and experiencing the lifestyle and culture of Doha, Qatar was a once in a lifetime opportunity. It was an unbelievable experience representing Monash University playing against some of the best 3x3 university teams in the world."
Tom Carroll, another player was thrilled to have experienced Qatari culture for the first time and appreciated the organisation of the event. "The organisation of the event was top tier and FISU gave all the athletes a platform to perform while also enjoying the city."
Despite missing out on the overall Championship trophy, the Monash University Men's Basketball team's participation in the 3x3 FISU Basketball Championships stands as a testament to their skill, dedication, and the university's commitment to fostering athletic excellence amongst its students.
As the tournament concluded, the Monash team returned home with their heads held high, proud of their performance and eager to continue their pursuit of excellence on and off the court.