Hong Kong hoops at the Olympics? Hopes may hinge on embracing 3x3 basketball
Fiba official urges Hong Kong to step up efforts to develop popular spin-off of conventional game which is in running for inclusion at Tokyo Games
Hong Kong must step up efforts to develop 3x3 basketball, a popular spin-off of the conventional game, as it stands a good chance of being included in the Tokyo Olympic Games, a top official said.
Mabel Ching Man-wai, a Fiba governance committee member, said the world governing body is working hard to push the fast-paced game into the next Olympic programme.
“Fiba is keen to see another basketball Olympic medal programme and 3x3 basketball has the biggest chance,” said Ching, who’s father, Carl Ching Man-ky, was Fiba president from 2002-2006.
“The game is already in the Youth Olympic Games since its inauguration in Singapore in 2010 and it’s logical to move a step forward. It is also very fastand demands great speed and physical fitness. It is very exciting for players and spectators.
“It may be very difficult for Hong Kong to qualify for the Olympic Games in both the men’s and women’s basketball, but if 3x3 basketball is included in the Tokyo Games, we have a better qualifying chance as long as we develop the game in time to be competitive against our Asian counterparts.”
Ching said she understood the IOC will make a decision on the final medal programmes for the Tokyo Games in July. “We will keep our fingers crossed and hopefully there will be some good news for the basketball fans,” she said.
The 3x3 version of the game is played on a 11m (length) x 15m (width) court – a normal court is 28x15m – with one basket and two teams of four players.The winning team is the first to score 21 points or that with the higher score after 10 minutes.
A private basketball management company will stage the first-ever City Hoop 3x3 tournament at Southorn Playground in Wan Chai on May 6 and 7, with the winners earning the right to represent Hong Kong in the World Hoops Penang Challenger tournament in Malaysia in July.