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Wilson, Hickey strike gold at FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup

Callan Morse -

Indigenous basketballers Ally Wilson and Will Hickey have won gold as part of Australia’s successful men’s and women’s teams at the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup.

Known as the Gangurrus, both teams secured gold after delivering two unbeaten tournament runs in Singapore.

Australia overcame New Zealand 18-13 in a tightly-contested women’s final, Wilson hitting a clutch three down the stretch to help secure back-to-back titles for the Gangurrus women.

The tournament MVP, who scored 26 points across five games, said to win a second consecutive tournament with the same roster made the victory even more special.

“It is an amazing feeling and not something that happens very often in any sporting code,” Wilson said, via Basketball Australia.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Ally Wilson (@allywilsonnn)

 

“We have such a special group that all play for each other and we just want to win.”

Joined by Anneli Maley, Marena Whittle and Lauren Mansfield in the four-player squad, the Ngarrindjeri woman averaged 5.2 pointes and 5.4 rebounds per game throughout the tournament.

She said the team’s success came down to even contributions, seeing them defeat the likes of India, Mongolia and Thailand before facing New Zealand in the final.

“I feel like any one of us could have won MVP as we all showed out at different times in the tournament and that’s the beauty of our group,” Wilson said.

"Being named MVP of the tournament was a shock but is an amazing feeling for me.” 

Australia’s men’s team, comprised of Will Hickey, Todd Blanchfield, James O’Donnell and Josh Davey easily accounted for Iran 21-7 in the final.

Hickey in action for the Gangurrus against Mongolia. (Image: FIBA)

Beginning in the qualifying draw, the the Gangurrus men strung together eight consecutive victories to reach the final.

Hickey, a proud Wiradjuri/Gamilaroi man was the tournament’s fourth-highest scorer with 27 points at 5.4 points per game to go along with 23 rebounds at 4.6 per game.

Men’s MVP Todd Blanchfield, who finished the tournament with 47 points, said a buy-in from the start of the tournament helped lead Australia’s men to a medal.

“To be able to bring in a fresh group with next to zero 3x3 experience and be able to do what we did was pretty special,” he said.  

“We wanted to hang our hat on the defensive end and that’s what we did. We took massive steps forward each game and to be able to hold a team like Iran to just 7 points really showed how far we came in such a short period of time.”   

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   Callan Morse   

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