Following the men’s and women’s competitions, the world’s top under-18 national teams will now compete against each other. Since 2015, there have been 20 three-on-three competitions in Kossuth Square, the most of any host city.
Mayor of Debrecen László Papp said that the relationship between FIBA and Debrecen is slowly taking on a historical dimension. According to the mayor, the square in front of the Reformed Great Church is an iconic venue, and FIBA insisted that the central square continue hosting the event. He believes it is no coincidence that the federation is counting on Debrecen for the long term.
“This year alone, we have already had a huge achievement with the U19 World Cup, hosting a fantastic world event. This is the same experience we will bring to this year’s 3×3 basketball tournaments,” he stressed.
The World Tour series kicks off first (26-27 August) with teams such as UB from Serbia (winner of the previous two editions) and Antwerp from Belgium, but Riga, the Olympic champions, will also be in town. In addition, a Hungarian team with a free ticket (U23 Hungarian national team) will start under the name of Debrecen.
In parallel to the men’s competition, the women’s competition will also begin, as the Women’s Series will return to the Great Church after 2019. This is also a two-day event with two domestic foursomes, as the Hungarian national team will be joined by the Győr team.
After a one-day break, the world’s best U18s will battle it out, with 20-20 boys’ and girls’ teams from twenty-six countries battling it out for the final victory over five days. There will also be Hungarian teams to cheer on.
Maximiliano Palheiro, Chief Operating Officer of FIBA’s 3×3 section, said that the team’s professionalism from Debrecen will make their job easier. As he said, at the time of the pandemic outbreak, Debrecen was the only city that agreed to host 3×3 in August that year, and they were able to organise three major events. As for the women’s professional teams, he pointed out that the Hungarian 3×3 girls belong to the world elite.
István Becsky, chairman of the organising committee, said that from a professional point of view, this year was a serious test for everyone regarding qualifying for next year’s Olympics. “We are confident that either the men’s or the women’s team will be able to participate in the Olympics, which would be a huge success for Hungarian 3×3 basketball. I would like to do everything for them; they always come to us with love and great pleasure,” he said. He added that Dóra Kravjánszki-Medgyessy, a native of our city, will also return to the court.
Ferenc Varga (DEAC Kosárlabda Akadémia), a U18 national team player, said at the press conference that the goal is to perform well, and they are very motivated for the competition. “The home crowd will help us a lot; it feels great to play in Debrecen,” he said.
Finally, the mayor announced that the City of Debrecen and FIBA have extended the agreement on the organisation of 3×3 basketball events until 2026.
Source and photo credit: debrecen.hu