Latvia and Ukraine, last year’s Europe Cup gold and bronze medalists respectively, will headline Pool D in this year’s 3×3 World Cup.
The two teams from Eastern Europe will be joined by Croatia, Jordan and Nigeria.
Either Latvia (4th) and Ukraine (5th) are projected to advance from this group. Croatia (12th) and Jordan (13th) hope that they can pull-off mild upsets, while Nigeria – although ranked 20th out of 20 teams – can play spoiler for any of the aforementioned teams and should not be underestimated.
Latvia is parading a veteran group of players all ranked within the top 30 3×3 players in the world. Led by the 27-year old Nauris Miezis (16), the Latvians hope that their talent and chemistry can propel them past the pool stage.
The Ukrainians won’t have their best player, Sasha Kobets, from their bronze medal run in the 2017 FIBA 3×3 Europe Cup in this year’s World Cup, but the rest of the team should be able to step up in his place. Height is definitely might for this Ukraine squad as all players in their squad stand from 6’4 to 6’9.
With an average age of 32.5, Croatia will have the oldest team in the pool. The members of the team have stayed intact for the past several 3×3 events. They hope that this experience, together with their veteran smarts, can lead them past the pool stage.
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The second-highest ranked Asian team in the World Cup hopes to put up a good name for the continent by giving it their all. The Jordanians will be led by their young phenoms, 21-year old Ibrahim Hamati and 23-year old Yousef Awamleh.
The Nigerians are the biggest underdogs in the tournament – at least according to the FIBA rankings – but that doesn’t mean that they don’t can’t compete in every game. They were the 2017 Africa Cup champions after all. As the only African country in the tournament, Nigeria definitely wants to perform to the best of their abilities in behalf of their region. They are also one of the youngest teams in the tournament, with no player older than 28 years old.