What a start! At the FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifier in Graz, the Austrian basketball women ensured a dream start into the tournament week. Sagerer, Neumann and Co. held down Chinese Taipei and Switzerland, the quarter-finals of the Olympic qualification tournament are within reach. The red-white-red team boss Stano Stelzhammer was already cheering about the 3×3 hype in Austria before the start. Krone.tv will broadcast the games live on Thursday and Friday from 7.30 p.m. and on Saturday from 6 p.m. The whole day is broadcast on Sunday.
Graz in the focus of the world. Thanks to millions and millions of hits – especially on social media – the 3×3 scene is moving more and more into the focus of basketball. These days, the Thunderdome on Graz’s main square is the focus of the 3×3 Olympic tournament. “It will be similar to beach volleyball,” believes Austria’s team boss Stano Stelzhammer. “First it’s an exciting fringe sport, then the sport will really hit the ground.”
Austria’s association is already fully committed to 3×3. “We are very grateful, there is only a few clubs in Austria with such professional support in classic basketball.” Daily training at the Olympic base, mental coaching, nutritional advice – when, thanks to strong performances at the European Championships, you noticed in 2019 that you had potential, Basketball Austria started by. The first fruits were harvested. At the Masters in Doha, Lanegger and Co. missed the quarter-finals by one point. Stelzhammer: “That was bitter, we would have been guaranteed a prize money of 24,000 dollars.”
The Olympic Qualifier in Graz is not about money, but about tickets for Tokyo. The men will start against Latvia on Thursday. “Hard, that’s number one among the professionals. But we have already beaten them, ”said Stelzhammer, who cheered on the women in the first group matches on Wednesday. Successful: Against Chinese Taipei, Sagerer, Neumann and Co. celebrated a 21:15, then Switzerland was defeated 14:13!
“That was exactly the start we were hoping for. We knew it was going to be very different from the first game. The Swiss are an experienced, physically strong team and we wanted to counter it from the start and give everything in defense. We succeeded. Now we’re recovering and we want to show against Spain and Italy on Friday that anything is possible, ”top scorer Anja Fuchs-Robetin cheered.