Curtain drops on FIBA 3x3 World Tour Shanghai Chongming Masters
Chinese players played important roles during the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Shanghai Chongming Masters, which just concluded in Shanghai's Chongming District over the weekend.
As the top level competition in FIBA's 3x3 calendar, the Shanghai Chongming Masters served as a ranking event for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
China sent three teams from Beijing, Futian and Wuxi for the two-day event.
According to the rules, four players, regardless of nationality, can form teams representing a city, and compete from the preliminary rounds. There are nine Chinese players in the Shanghai tournament representing different teams.
Chinese national team players Zhang Ning and Qi Haotong represented Serbia's Team Liman, the runner-up at the Shanghai Chongming Masters. Though Liman was edged 19:21 by Mongolia's Team Ulaanbaatar at Sunday's final, the Chinese players' performance can add points for the Chinese 3x3 national team's qualification for next year's Olympics.
Team Beijing eventually ranked 5th, Team Wuxi 8th and Team Futian 9th in the 12-team tournament.
Chinese players staged promising performances. Zhang Ning led the VIP and top scorer rankings on the first day of the Shanghai event.
There are three more Masters to be held in October in Doha's Al Bidda Park, China's Chengdu and UAE capital Abu Dhabi. Chinese players will continue with their efforts to secure a spot for the national team in Paris.
"We only started systematic competitions in FIBA 3x3 events from this year," said Wang Zhanyu, head coach of China's 3x3 basketball national team.
"The players have to adjust not only to the intense competitions, but also the long flights and trips. Everyone has made improvements," said Wang.
The two-day event has attracted a lot of basketball fans to Chongming's Hengsha Island over the weekend. The 800-seat spectator area was packed. Some parents took their children to the competition's outer area for local culture-themed activities and exhibitions.
China's Basketball Association President Yao Ming also attended the event.
"I always thought 3x3 basketball is a city sport, but the Chongming Masters gave me a fresh feeling," said Yao.
"The locals cheer for the players, while the competition can help promote the sport, culture and tourism industries for Hengsha Island," said Yao.