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Amsterdam Inoxdeals win Cedevita Ljubljana 3×3 Challenger

LJUBLJANA (3×3 Challengers) – Amsterdam Inoxdeals (NED) won their 3rd Challenger of the season after narrowly edging out Vrbas Avai (SRB) 21-19 in the final of the Cedevita Ljubljana 3×3 Challenger in Slovenia on August 17-18.

After winning at the The Hague and Kaunas Challengers and finishing 2nd at the World Tour Utsunomiya Masters, the Dutch champions continued their killer season start in Ljubljana.

The number 7 team in the world did not lose a single game in the Slovenian capital but had to sweat to win the USD 10,000 cheque in the final against Vrbas Avai. After the Serbs made a furious comeback down 19-20, tournament MVP Dimeo Van den Horst took the baseline and timed his floater to perfection.

Both teams earned a ticket to the Debrecen Masters, which will take place on August 30-31. It will be Amsterdam Inoxdeals’ 5th Masters this year! Vrbas Avai will make their World Tour debut in Hungary but 3×3 fans will recognize a few faces there, starting with event top scorer Danilo Mijatovic, who represented Serbia at the FIBA 3×3 Europe Cup last year. The list goes on with the speedy Filip Simic, who played at the Lausanne Masters in 2016 with Team Obrenovac and Strahinja Stojacic, who’s none other than the number one 3×3 player in the world, Stefan Stojacic’s brother.

In total, 5 teams in the Top 10 and 16 teams from 10 countries brought a huge crowd to the city center of Ljubljana for 2 days for a total of USD 20,000 in prize money.

The other 6 teams who have already qualified to the Debrecen Masters are Belgrade (SRB), Humpolec Bernard (CZE), Kranj (SLO), Liman Tesla Voda (SRB), Novi Sad Al Wahda (SRB) and Riga (LAT).

The next Challenger is the ING-DiBa Berlin 3×3 Challenger and will be held in Germany on August 31 – September 1.

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Riga go back to back at Raiffeisen Bank Bucharest 3×3 Challenger

BUCHAREST (3×3 Challengers) – After one of the most spectacular games of the season, Riga (LAT) won for the second time in a row the Raiffeisen Bank Bucharest 3×3 Challenger, edging out Novi Sad Al Wahda (SRB) by just one point, 21-20 in the final.

The tournament took place in ParkLake Shopping Center, a unique mall from District 3 of the Romanian capital city.

Nauris Miezis scored the final basket of a game filled with spectacular passes, two-point field goals and some amazing display of skills, hard work and determination from both teams. It was 3×3 basketball at his best between two of the best teams in the world right now.

The game was a roller-coaster, with Riga in the driving seat from the get-go. The Latvians had a flying start and led 7-2 after just 90 seconds. Novi Sad climbed back to just one possession 10-8 for Riga with 7 minutes to go.

Karlis Lasmanis and Miezis were on fire and Riga were leading 14-8 midway through the game. But then Dusan Bulut happened. He scored five points in a row, Tamas Ivosev add another bomb from long range and suddenly Novi Sad were up 16-15.

The final minutes were truly crazy, with both teams going at each other, trading baskets and playing with the hearts of an amazing crowd. In the end Miezis squeezed the ball into the basket on a tough reverse lay-up and Riga got the big credit card with 10,000 USD offered by Raiffeisen Bank and Mastercard.

It was the second time in 2 weeks that Riga defeated Novi Sad Al Wahda in the final of a challenger.

Surprisingly enough the number 1 team in the world still hasn’t won a single challenger this season (in 7 tries)… yet they’ve won the 2 World Tour Masters they’ve participated in. Riga on the other hand are now the team with the most challengers wins this season. After their success in Nanjing (China), Lipik (Croatia), Ventspils (in Latvia 2 weeks ago) and now Bucharest (Romania), they’ve now won 4 challengers this year.

With this win, Riga secured a ticket to the Debrecen Masters, which will take place on August 30-31. Since Novi Sad Al Wahda already had qualified (based on ranking), the team ranked 3rd in Bucharest (Team Belgrade (SRB)) will join the party in Hungary.

The 3 other teams who already have their pass for the Debrecen Masters are Humpolec Bernard (CZE) and Kranj (SLO) and last year’s winners Liman Tesla Voda (SRB).

After playing for three days in the side event organized together with the challenger, the kids got the chance to share the same stage as their idols during the award ceremony, receiving their prizes from the hands of the best players in the world.

The next Challenger is the Cedevita Ljubljana 3×3 Challenger and will be held in Slovenia on August 17-18.

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Novi Sad Al Wahda win FIBA 3×3 World Tour Prague Masters 2018

PRAGUE (FIBA 3×3 World Tour) – Novi Sad Al Wahda (SRB) made history after winning the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Prague Masters in Czech Republic on August 4-5.

The Serbian squad defeated Gagarin (RUS) 21-12 in the final and became the first team in 3×3 history to go from the Qualifying Draw all the way to the title in a World Tour Masters.

Novi Sad Al Wahda superstar Dusan Bulut was named MVP after leading all scorers at the event, scoring 12 points in the final and dishing an insane spinning no-look behind the back pass, which was featured on ESPN SportsCenter, House of Highlights and all over the web.

This is Novi Sad Al Wahda’s 12th World Tour Masters title. They also took home the USD 30,000 cheque, their second of the season after winning the Saskatoon Masters 2 weeks ago.

Gagarin made quite an impression for their first-ever appearance on the World Tour. The young Russian team (22 years old on average) defeated 2 Top 10 teams in the world back to back to reach the final in Prague.

Polish pro dunker Piotr Grabowski dominated the dunk contest and cashed in USD 2,500 in prize money.

This was the first time the World Tour was played in the front of the iconic Prague Castle but the 6th edition of the Prague Masters overall. Novi Sad Al Wahda won it for the 4th time!

The 4th Masters of the season will be held in the Olympic capital Lausanne, Switzerland on August 24-25.

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Riga Ghetto Basket win Ventspils Challenger

VENTSPILS (3×3 Challenger) – Riga Ghetto Basket (LAT) won the inaugural edition of the Ventspils Challenger after coming from behind to beat Novi Sad Al Wahda (SRB) in the final on July 28-29, 2018.

Novi Sad Al Wahda (SRB) was the team to beat after finishing 1st at the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Saskatoon Masters on July 21-22. However, Riga found their footing with all their local support. Novi Sad Al Wahda had a 4 point lead going into the final 2 minutes….which isn’t enough in 3×3. Nauris Miezis scored two big 2-pointers – and an even bigger assist to a flying Karlis Lasmanis for a 21-17 Riga win.

Both Novi Sad Al Wahda and Riga Ghetto Basket had qualified for the Lausanne Masters already. This means the third and fourth place team Kranj (SLO) and Kaunas (LTU) earned their ticket to the Olympic Capital.

The other 5 teams who have already qualified to the Lausanne Masters are Zemun (SRB), Liman Tesla Voda (SRB), Ljubljana (SLO), Humpolec Bernard (CZE), and Nice (FRA)

The next Challenger is the Raiffeisen Bank Bucharest Challenger and will be held in Bucharest, Romania on August 11-12

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Liman Tesla Voda win FIBA 3×3 World Tour Utsunomiya Masters

UTSUNOMIYA (FIBA 3×3 World Tour) – Liman Tesla Voda (SRB) won the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Utsunomiya Masters 2018 in Japan on July 28-29.

The Serbian squad bounced back in the best way after losing in the title game of the Saskatoon Masters a week ago. The number 2 team in the world defeated Amsterdam Inoxdeals (NED) in the final in Japan.

Stefan Kojic led all scorers in the final with 6 points. His teammate Stefan Stojacic added 4 and was named MVP after scoring a third-best 27 points, including a cold-blooded game-winner in the quarter-finals against Humpolec Bernard (CZE).

This marked Liman Tesla Voda’s third all-time Masters title. They took home the USD 30,000 cheque and stamped their ticket to the Bloomage Beijing Final, which will take place on October 27-28.

In the individual contests, local favorite Sho Hasegawa (Okayama) won the shoot-out contest. US pro dunker Jordan Southerland dominated the dunk contest and cashed in USD 2,500 in prize money.

Utsunomiya was hosting a FIBA 3×3 World Tour Masters for the third year in a row, in one of the most iconic locations in the history of 3×3, in front of the Futaarayama Jinja shrine.

The third Masters of the season will be held in Prague, Czech Republic on August 4-5.

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Novi Sad win FIBA 3×3 World Tour Saskatoon Masters 2018

SASKATOON (FIBA 3×3 World Tour 2018) – Novi Sad (SRB) won the first Masters of the 2018 season in Saskatoon, Canada, on July 21-22.

The number one team in the world defeated its Serbian rivals – and number 2 team in the FIBA 3×3 Team Ranking – Liman in the final (20-18). The event MVP Dusan Bulut, had 5 points in the final and finished second overall in scoring in the ‘Paris of the Prairies’.

His teammate Dejan Majstorovic contributed a game-high 8 points in the final and led the scoring charts with 35 points overall.

The 2-time World Tour winners took home the USD 30,000 cheque and stamped their ticket to the Bloomage Beijing Final, which will take place on October 27-28.

This marked Novi Sad’s 13th title at a FIBA 3×3 World Tour event.

For the second consecutive year, the streets of Saskatoon played host to the World Tour opener. The event featured 12 squads from 6 countries, including 4 of the top 5 teams in the world.

In the individual contests, World Tour reigning champ Lazar Rasic, from Zemun (SRB) shined at the Shoot-out contest. US pro dunker Doug Anderson won the dunk contest after defeating last year’s winner Justin ‘Jus Fly’ Darlington in the final.

The second Masters of the season will be held in Utsunomiya, Japan on July 28-29.

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Liman Tesla Voda in 7th Heaven after Lignano Sabbiadoro 3×3 Challenger win

LIGNANO SABBIADORO (3×3 Challenger) – Liman Tesla Voda (SRB) will play in 7 out of 9 FIBA 3×3 World Tour Masters (and counting!) after winning the Lignano Sabbiadoro 3×3 Challenger in Italy, on July 14-15.

The number 2 team in the world had a pitch perfect preparation for the start of the FIBA 3×3 World Tour in Saskatoon, Canada at the end of the week, on July 21-22. They won every single game before the 10-minute limit, including a 21-17 defeat of 2-time World Tour winner Ljubljana (SLO) in the final.

Ljubljana was up 14-12 with 3 minutes to go but sharpshooter Stefan Kojic turned the game upside down with two tough 2-pointers to tie the game at 14 and then give his team a 17-15 lead.

Blaz Cresnar aka ‘Birdman’ dominated in the paint and scored 3 straight points for Ljubljana but Liman star Stefan Stojacic nailed a cold-blooded 2-pointer and his teammate Aleksandar Ratkov scored the game-winning free throw from the line.

With this win, Liman Tesla Voda not only took home the 10,000 USD cheque and became the overall leader in season earnings (42,000 USD), they also secured a ticket to the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Lausanne Masters, their 7th out of 9 Masters this year! Only Mexico City and Hyderabad are still on their list!

A new season has started for Ljubljana, who had missed out on a World Tour ticket in 5 consecutive Challengers. They are now guaranteed to play in 3 Masters after they received 2 World Tour invitations based on their 5th place rank in the FIBA 3×3 Team Ranking on November 1, 2017.

The other 4 teams, who have already secured their spot in the Olympic capital are Novi Sad (SRB), Zemun (SRB) [both based on ranking], Riga (LAT) and Humpolec Bernard (CZE) [the latter 2 after reaching the final at the Lipik Challenger in Croatia].

For the first time ever Italy was hosting a 3×3 Challenger, 4 of the Top 7 teams in the world showed up and 16 teams from 9 different countries.

The next Challenger will be held in Ventspils, Latvia on July 28-29.

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Amsterdam Inoxdeals do it again at Kaunas 3×3 Challenger

KAUNAS (3×3 Challengers) – Amsterdam Inoxdeals (NED) won their second Challenger of the season after edging out Belgrade (SRB) in overtime in the final of the Kaunas 3×3 Challenger on June 30 – July 1.

Just 4 weeks after taking home their first-ever Challenger in The Hague, the Dutch team continued their hot streak in Lithuania. Despite missing their top ranked player Jesper Jobse, they went undefeated over the weekend though they got a big scare in the final.

Down one with time running out, event top scorer Dimeo Van den Horst went hard to the basket, spin move and finished over Dragan Bjelica. In overtime, the other newcomer on the team Aron Rojié came off a screen, faked, set his feet behind the arc and splashed the 2-pointer for the win, the 10,000 USD and the ticket to the World Tour Prague Masters.

Since the Dutch had already secured their spot there in The Hague, third-place Moscow Inanomo (RUS) join Amsterdam and Belgrade in the Czech capital.

All 3 teams have now secured a ticket to 2 Masters this season.

Eight Prague Masters participants are now confirmed. The other 5 are Liman (SRB), Piran (SLO), Gagarin (RUS), Humpolec Bernard (CZE) and Ralja Intergalactic (SRB). The Prague Masters is the third World Tour event of the season and will be held on August 4-5 on the UNESCO World Heritage site of Wenceslas Square.

Four of the Top 20 teams in the world and a total of 16 teams from 10 different countries competed in Lithuania.

The next Challenger will be held in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy on July 14-15.

Source: www.fiba.basketball
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Princeton school opponents at Vieques 3×3 Challenger

VIEQUES (3×3 Challengers) – Princeton (USA) won their second challenger of the season after defeating NY Harlem (USA) in the final of the Vieques 3×3 Challenger on June 30 – July 1, 2018.

After winning the Huaian Challenger in China 2 months ago, the American team flew to Puerto Rico to add more silverware to their trophy cabinet.

After dropping their opener… against NY Harlem, Princeton bounced back, stopped two Top 10 teams in the world back to back (Liman, #2 and Saskatoon, #9) before avenging their pool loss in the final on a clutch two-pointer courtesy of former NBA player Robbie Hummel.

Princeton had already secured their ticket to the World Tour Mexico City Masters but took home the 10,000 USD cheque and the ranking points.

NY Harlem and third-place Saskatoon (CAN) will therefore join Princeton in the Mexican capital, when the Masters take place on September 8-9.

Piran (SLO), Ljubljana (SLO) and Ponce (PUR) are the other 3 teams who have already booked their flights to Mexico.

Six of the Top 16 teams in the world and a total of 16 teams from 8 different countries competed in Puerto Rico.

The next Challenger will be held in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy on July 14-15.

Source: www.fiba.basketball
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Riga return to winning ways at Cedevita Lipik 3×3 Challenger

LIPIK (3×3 Challengers) – It took them over 2 months but Riga (LAT) finally won their 2nd Challenger of the season after edging out (21-18) Humpolec Bernard (CZE) in the final of the Cedevita Lipik 3×3 Challenger in Croatia on June 22-23, 2018.

After dropping their opener against local favorites Split Statist (CRO), it looked like the bad streak was about to continue for the young Latvian team. After winning the Nanjing Challenger in April, Riga missed 3 straight opportunities to qualify for the World Tour in Moscow, The Hague and Hang Zhou.

Moscow must have been on their mind during the final in Lipik. Riga were in control, up 20-17 in the semi-finals when Ondrej Siska hit back-to-back 2-pointers to win the game for Humpolec Bernard in the Russian capital.

But this time around, Riga did not let the Czech star get hot and tournament MVP Karlis Lasmanis finished things off from close range in the title game.

Riga took home 10,000 USD, Humpolec 6,000 and both teams stamped their ticket to the World Tour Lausanne Masters.

Riga now have secured 3 Masters this season (including Saskatoon and Chengdu, based on ranking ). For Humpolec, the number is already 4 (including Utsunomiya, Prague and Debrecen).

No team on the professional circuit has been more on fire than Humpolec in the last 2 months. They earned a ticket to the World Tour in each one of the Challengers they played this season. The Czechs finished 2nd in Wuxi, Moscow, Lipik and won in Limassol last week.

Five teams from the Top 10 and 5 more from the Top 20 competed in Croatia over the weekend.

The next Challengers will be held in Kaunas and Vieques on June 30 – July 1.

Final Standings:

  1. Riga (LAT)
  2. Humpolec Bernard (CZE)
  3. Belgrade (SRB)
  4. Split Statist (CRO)
  5. Nice (FRA)

Top Scorers:

  1. Karlis Lasmanis (Riga) 38 pts
  2. Ondrej Siska (Humpolec Bernard) 35 pts
  3. Ivan Popovic (Belgrade) 34 pts
  4. Roman Zachrla (Humpolec Bernard) 32 pts
  5. Ivan Rasetina (Split Statist) 30 pts

Source: www.fiba.basketball
Photo: Goran Stanzl/PIXSELL