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2015 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championships Men's Pool A preview
MIES (3x3) - With the 2015 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championships taking place in Debrecen from 4-7 June, we preview the men's and women's tournament pool by pool.
Men's Pool A
Hungary (#1 seed), Poland (#8), Kazakhstan (#9), Uruguay (#16), Philippines (#17), Russia (#24)
Two years ago at the 2013 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championships in Jakarta, Indonesia, a skinny Filipino came to the 3x3 world scene as the youngest player in the tournament, and ended up winning gold at the Dunk Contest and becoming the biggest star of the event. In 2015, the 1.98m Kobe Paras arrives with a new status as leader of the Philippines team, looking to go far in the competition. Tough luck for the 2-million-view YouTube sensation, his team ends up in one of the most competitive pools of the tournament.
Russia has been among the best 3x3 teams in recent years, earning a bronze medal in 2013 and reaching the semi-finals at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) and will feature a physical team, including the biggest player in the pool, Edvard Sharnin (2.05m).
Their Polish neighbours also made strides, reaching the quarter-finals both in Jakarta and at the YOG.
Hungary will count on Kristof Istvan Horvath, who starred at the YOG and the support of their local fans.
Uruguay's Joaquin Jones also made a name for himself at the YOG last year and will this time around lead one of the youngest teams in the tournament, with three 16 year-old team-mates.
Last but not least, Kazakhstan may make only their first appearance at the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championships but seem poised to make a lot of noise in Hungary with the massive Alexander Danilchenko (2.03m, 105 kg).
Oldest/Youngest team: Philippines & Russia (18)/Uruguay (16)
Tallest/Shortest team: Uruguay (1.97m)/Kazakhstan (1.89m)
Heaviest/Lightest team: Russia (91kg) / Philippines (80kg)
Oldest/Youngest player: Alexander Danilchenko, Kazakhstan (18)/ Krizstofer Durazi, Hungary (16)
Tallest/Shortest player: Edvard Sharnin, Russia (2.05m)/Vadim Korzhov, Kazakhstan (1.79m)
Heaviest/Lightest player: Edvard Sharnin, Russia (106kg)/Ricci Paolo Rivero, Philippines (66kg)