Home » Striking: 3X3 Team Antwerp ceases to exist, players move to Bahrain

Striking: 3X3 Team Antwerp ceases to exist, players move to Bahrain

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3X3 Team Antwerp (here with the 3X3 Lions) heads to Bahrain. — © BELGA

3X3 Basketball

Striking move in 3X3 basketball. Team Antwerp no longer exists and Dennis Donkor, Jonas Foerts, Bryan De Valck and Caspar Augustijen move to Bahrain and play for the new team Riffa. Thibaut Vervoort, who last year spent with the Chinese side Futian, also normally goes to Bahrain. Bad news for Belgian basketball, good for the national 3X3 team with an eye on the Olympic Games.

A project funded by the authorities in Bahrain has approached the players of Team Antwerp to play for their team Riffa. In this way, the city of Riffa wishes to create more global brand awareness. Bahrain will organize a world tour in Manama for the second year in a row in 2024. In return, they provide the means for professional support for the players. Because the new world ranking was presented on the FIBA ​​site, it became clear that Team Antwerp no longer exists. Three players have already been presented at Riffa: Jonas Foerts (FIBA 9), Dennis Donkor (FIBA 7) and Bryan De Valck (FIBA 16). The team immediately ranks fifth in the world. Caspar Augustijnen and Thibaut Vervoort will complete this trio.

Jonas Foerts is also going to Bahrain. — © ZUMA Press

Team Antwerp is the project that was founded years ago by driving force Nick Celis. He is still internationally suspended until June 2026. Apparently he does not want to continue with the Antwerp 3X3 project. Team Antwerp was the first professional 3X3 professional team, won two World Tours and reached number 3 in the world.

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This five also have a contract with Sport Vlaanderen and play for the 3X3 Lions. They came fourth at the Olympic Games in Tokyo (2021), fourth at the World Championships in 2022 in … Antwerp and won silver at the European Games in Poland last year. Their first medal with the national team. The 3X3 Lions were celebrated at the same time as the Belgian Cats on the balcony of the city hall in Brussels.

Lucrative

The 3X3 Lions also want to go to the Olympic Games in Paris this year. They will play the qualifying tournament in Debrecen, Hungary at the end of May. It is a pity that the plug is being pulled from Team Antwerp and that Belgium no longer has a 3X3 professional team, but on the other hand it is a bonus for Team Belgium that the five Antwerp residents play together elsewhere in one team. A win-win for the automatics. For the chances of Olympic success: an increase. Playing in Bahrain at club level will also be lucrative for Vervoort, Augustijnen, Donkor, De Valck and Foerts. Riffa is the third largest city in Bahrain with 80,000 inhabitants. Bahrain is an archipelago of 33 islands located off the coast of Saudi Arabia.

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