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Murray Wenzel

Aussie women sink 'only shot' to qualify for Paris 3x3

Australia's Gangurrus have taken their "one shot" to join the Opals in Paris, the women's 3x3 basketball team earning an Olympic debut by winning a qualification tournament in Japan.

Basketball's high-octane half-court version made its debut at the Tokyo Games in 2021 but neither Australia's men or women qualified.

The women at least will be there for the second instalment, the Gangurrus beating Canada 19-16 late on Sunday in Utsunomiya to clinch the FIBA Universality Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

The Asia Cup champions and Commonwealth Games bronze medallists topped their group before beating Brazil 18-16 to reach the final.

The team included WNBL Perth Lynx captain Anneli Maley, Adelaide's Lauren Mansfield, Bendigo Spirit's Alex Wilson and Spain-based Marena Whittle.

China, France, Azerbaijan, and the USA have already qualified, while Australia were not eligible to compete in the final play-in tournament in Hungary.

"This was our only shot," Maley said

"We don't get to go on the tours, we don't get to do any of that stuff.

"And to come out here and play the way we did, I'm so, so proud."

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