Everything you need to know about the FIBA 3x3 Basketball World Cup

Olympic spots are up for grabs in Amsterdam (18-23 June 2019) as Serbia's men bid for a fourth straight title and Italy defend their women's crown.

The 2019 FIBA 3x3 World Cup runs from Tuesday (18th June) to Sunday (23rd June) with 20 men's teams and 20 women's fighting it out to be crowned world champions in Amsterdam.

As well as titles, there are also spots in 3x3 basketball's Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 up for grabs in this edition of the annual event, and the final stages can be streamed live on Olympic Channel (territorial restrictions may apply).

The top three teams in each competition will join hosts Japan at next year's Games.

Serbia's men are bidding for a fourth consecutive title, while Italy defend the women's title they won for the first time in the Philippines 12 months ago.

Third title in a row for Serbia at the 3x3 World Cup

Third title in a row for Serbia at the 3x3 World Cup

The event also features individual contests in shooting, dunks (for the men), and skills (for the women), but the big prizes are in the team events, and here's what you need to know.

Men's competition

Can Serbia's men complete the four-peat?

Serbia's all-star side has dominated 3x3 in recent years.

After claiming the first FIBA 3x3 World Cup in 2012, they were runners-up in 2014 before taking the 2016, 2017, and 2018 editions.

Dusan 'Mr Bullutproof' Bulut, the world's top player and 'king of the ankle breakers', has been a permanent fixture, with the Serbs a distance clear of the rest in world standings that are calculated by totalling individual player rankings.

Bulut and Novi Sad team-mates Dejan Majstorovic and Marko Savic remain from last year's triumph in the Philippines with Mihailo Vasic of FIBA World Tour rivals Liman a late replacement for Stefan Stojacic.

Serbia also claimed their first European Cup title last September in Bucharest with an all-Novi Sad line-up including Marko Zdero.

Bulut, Savic, and Majstorovic are one, two, and three in the player world rankings with Vasic number seven.

It will take something extraordinary to derail the Serbian machine and stop Bulut, already the most successful 3x3 baller in history, adding to his record haul of four World Cups.

Home team lead chasing pack in Amsterdam

Hosts the Netherlands will be hoping to go one better than 12 months ago when they went down 16-13 in the men's final to the all-conquering Serbs.

That run took its toll as the Dutch then failed to qualify for the European Championships.

The same four players which went to last year's final, despite being ranked eighth in the world, are reunited in Amsterdam.

Aron Roije is 12 in the world player rankings with Dimeo van der Horst, Jesper Jobse, and Sjoerd van Vilsteren also in the top 20.

Jobse was picked in the 'Mythical Three' team of the tournament alongside Bulut and Poland's Michael Hicks.

With home support behind them, the Netherlands could challenge for the medals again, although they will probably have to fight it out with the USA for second place in Group A behind the defending champions.

Russia are rated the second best side in the world, although they crashed out in the group stages at last year's event.

Dmitry Korshakov survives from the Philippines, but the average age this time round is 23.5 compared to 30.5.

Alexander Zuev, ranked 22 in the world, Dmitrii Cheburkin, and Daniil Abramovskii, are all 22 years of age and have Russia hoping for a much better showing in Amsterdam.

Third seeds Slovenia took the final place on the podium last year, and they were third in the European Cup too, after suffering just one defeat in the competition - a heartbreaking 21-20 loss to Latvia.

Their four have been together since the 2016 World Cup, where they also finished third, with the wonderfully languid Simon Finzgar - a former world number one player - participating in his fifth World Cup at the age of 39.

At 27, Anze Srebovt is the youngest member of the squad, who all ply their trade for World Tour side Piran.

They can beat anyone on their day, as proved by their victory in the 2016 European Cup.

Latvia are seeded fourth and can look back to their 2017 European Cup success for inspiration.

They have never won a medal at world level, but teams will be wary of the telepathic understanding between Riga Ghetto pair Karlis Lasmanis and Nauris Miezis.

The overseas challenge for 3x3 glory

You have to go back to the United States' silver medal in 2016 for the last time a non-European side made the World Cup podium.

USA are ranked seven in the world, but they received a confidence boost earlier this month as Damon Huffman led Princeton to second place at the Moscow 3x3 Challenger event.

They gave Novi Sad a scare in the final, leading 19-17 before the Serbs scored four unanswered points to run out 21-19 winners.

Huffman is joined by Robbie Hummel, Kareem Maddox, and Canyon Barry in Amsterdam.

And the 34-year-old will be quickly reacquainted with Bulut and co as the USA face Serbia in their Pool A opener.

Qatar are the only country other than Serbia to win the men's world title (2014).

They missed last year's tournament after sliding down the world rankings, but 2017 World Cup veteran Fadi Abilmona has guided them back up to 10th.

The rest of the squad is 22 or younger, with guard Moustafa Fouda one of the shortest players in the tournament at just 1.74m tall.

But they are in a competitive Pool C with Slovenia and sixth seeds China.

This is China's first World Cup since losing all four group games when hosting the event in 2016.

They are a far stronger side now, although they suffered a surprise semi-final defeat to eventual winners Australia in last month's Asia Cup on home soil in Changsha.

Zheng Yi was second on the top scorer's list with 34 points in five games, and he will lead the Chinese challenge in the Netherlands.

Last year, Zheng came up with the block of 2018 in the U23 World Cup against the Philippines.

Australia also accounted for top seeds Japan in the Asia Cup quarter-finals.

Ranked five in the world, the Japanese looked to have landed a reasonable draw with fourth-ranked Latvia their main rivals for top spot.

But they will face Australia again in Pool D with Brazil and Poland completing a competitive group.

Ryuto Yasuoka and the prolific Daisuke Kobayashi remain from that shock exit in Changsha, with Tomoya 'Worm' Ochiai, back to lead the team.

The men's team action is set to be fierce from the outset, with just the top two teams from each pool of five making it through to the quarter-finals.

The Pools - 2019 FIBA 3x3 World Cup - Men

Pool A: Serbia, USA, Netherlands, Turkey, South Korea.

Pool B: Russia, Mongolia, Ukraine, Estonia, Puerto Rico.

Pool C: Slovenia, China, Qatar, Lithuania, France.

Pool D: Latvia, Japan, Brazil, Poland, Australia.

Women's competition

Italy face battle to retain world title

Italy may be defending champions, but their world ranking of 12 means they have their work cut out in Amsterdam.

There are three teams ranked above them in Pool D - Russia (3), Ukraine (7), and Indonesia (10) - with New Zealand (20) completing the group.

Last year, Rae Lin D'Alie inspired the Italians to a surprise success as they knocked out top seeds China in the semi-finals, before beating holders Russia to take the trophy.

Wisconsin-born 'Rae Rae' was named MVP after leading all scorers with 52 points in seven games, and leads an unchanged line-up from four years ago.

Giulia Rulli, Marcella Filippi, and Giulia Ciavarella complete the four.

China again come into the competition as the number one-ranked team.

Zhang Zhiting, Li Yingyun, and Jiang Jiayin remain from last year's side, with Li named in the 'Mythical Three' team of the tournament.

The Chinese trio went on to take gold at the Asian Games in Jakarta, with Sun Li completing their squad in Amsterdam.

This is an entirely different line-up from the one which crashed out in the group stages of the Asia Cup, and they have high hopes of reaching the podium after taking fourth place 12 months ago.

Mongolia are second seeds in their first appearance in the women's 3x3 World Cup.

But there is a fair chance the ranking is not a true reflection of their ability, with the team only fourth in last month's Asia Cup.

Former champs keen to reclaim title

After the United States won the first two tournaments in 2012 and 2014, Czech Republic were victorious in 2016, followed by Russia and, most recently, Italy.

Russia will be keen to regain the crown, with three survivors from 2017 and 2018 - Anastasia Logunova, Anna Leshkovtseva, and Alexandra Stolyar - back for another go.

Logunova stood out on the stats front, with 39 points plus nine blocks - more than any man or woman in the Philippines - in last year's event.

But it is Leshkovtseva who is arguably the star of the team, winning the 2017 World Cup MVP award before making last year's 'Mythical Three' team of the tournament alongside D'Alie and Li.

France to be feared

The seedings for this World Cup were based on the world rankings at the start of November last year.

France were ranked five at the time, but they are clear at the top now, with Migna Toure now the number one player in the world.

And the 24-year-old is one of the players to watch in Amsterdam having been named MVP at last year's Europe Cup where France took victory for the first time.

France are far from a one-woman team with Marie-Eve Paget and Ana Maria Filip also in the world's top six.

Paget is the only survivor from last year's World Cup, where France came away with the bronze medal, with Toute and Filip coming into the line-up for the victorious European Cup campaign.

And they go to Amsterdam in good form having won the second event of this year's FIBA Women's Series in Turin earlier this week.

Hosts Netherlands were runners-up to France in Bucharest, going down 21-5 in a one-sided gold medal game.

Natalie van der Adel and the Bettonvil sisters - Jill and Loyce - remain from that run to the final with Fleur Kuijt completing the line-up.

Australia may be 15th seeds but they are real dark horses in the Netherlands.

After taking the Asia Cup, as Australia's men and women completed a famous double in Changsha, the women proved it was no fluke with victory in round one of the Women's Series in Chengdu.

Bec Cole is the only survivor from the team which just missed out on the World Cup quarter-finals in 2017 before failing to qualify last year.

She was pivotal in getting the team to Amsterdam, and was named Asia Cup MVP thanks to her 34 points in five games.

Japan were runners-up in Changsha with Minami Iju their schemer and standout player.

Kiho Miyashita remains from the Asia Cup with 20-year-old Stephanie Mawuli, the younger sister of Japan 5x5 star Evelyn, stepping up to the 3x3 team with 1.88m-tall Miwa Kuribayashi.

But only two of France, Japan, and Australia will make the quarter-finals having been drawn together in Pool B.

The Pools - 2019 FIBA 3x3 World Cup - Women

Pool A: China, Netherlands, Hungary, Latvia, Turkmenistan.

Pool B: France, Japan, Switzerland, Australia, Andorra.

Pool C: Mongolia, Romania, Iran, Czech Republic, Spain.

Pool D: Russia, Ukraine, Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand.

Thrills and skills in the individual contests

It's not just about the team competitions in Amsterdam.

The shoot-out contest qualifiers see one player from each team take five shots from the right wing and five from the left with the two best scores, in each of the men's and the women's, in the shortest time, going through to the four-person final.

Each finalist has to take 18 shots from four different locations, including three from the 3x3 logo which are worth two points each instead of the normal one.

Janine Pontejos won last year ago on home soil, but the Philippines' failure to qualify for the women's event means she will not be in Amsterdam this time.

Russia's Alexandra Stolyar is the only medallist from 12 months ago in with a chance of another podium finish with bronze medallist, Marin Hrvoje of Croatia, also absent.

The men contest the dunk with up to one player per team plus professional dunkers taking part.

There are various qualification rounds with the athletes having 75 seconds and three attempts per round to complete a dunk which is marked out of 10 by a five-person jury.

The final sees two players go head-to-head over three rounds, with no time limit for the last round.

Pro dunker Dmytro Krivenko won last year, and the Ukrainian is back seeking to retain his title.

The women's individual event is the skills contest, with up to one player per team competing.

Players go head-to-head and need to perform a number of skills including dribbling, passing, and shooting in the quickest time possible.

Hungary's Alexandra Theodorean is back to defend her crown, with beaten finalist Marie-Eve Paget also set to line up again.

Schedule and streaming details - FIBA 3x3 Basketball World Cup 2019 - Amsterdam

Tuesday 18th June

Skills Contest Qualifiers

Women's Pool C - five matches

Men's Pool B - five matches

Women's Pool A - five matches

Men's Pool D - five matches

Shoot-Out Contest Qualifiers

Wednesday 19th June

Skills Contest Qualifiers

Men's Pool C - five matches

Women's Pool D - five matches

Men's Pool A - five matches

Women's Pool B - five matches

Shoot-Out Contest Qualifiers

Thursday 20th June

Women's Pool C - five matches

Men's Pool B - five matches

Women's Pool A - five matches

Men's Pool D - five matches

Shoot-Out Contest Qualifiers

Friday 21st June

Men's Pool C - five matches

Women's Pool D - five matches

Men's Pool A - five matches

Women's Pool B - five matches

Shoot-Out Contest Qualifiers

Dunk Contest Qualifiers

Saturday 22nd June (live on Olympic Channel)

Women's Quarter-Finals

Men's Quarter-Finals

Skills Contest Final

Dunk Contest Final

Sunday 23rd June (live on Olympic Channel)

Women's Semi-Finals

Men's Semi-Finals

Shoot-Out Contest Final

Women's 3rd Place Match

Men's 3rd Place Match

Women's Final

Men's Final

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