Two-time FIBA 3×3 World Tour winners Novi Sad Al Wahda (UAE) became the first team in 3×3 history to qualify to each one of the World Tour Masters after winning the loaded Cedevita Lipik 3×3 Challenger in Lipik, Croatia on June 30 and July 1 2017.
Despite missing two core players due to injury (Marko Savic and Marko Zdero), Novi Sad Al Wahda were a perfect 6-0 in Lipik.
With his team up 18-17 in the final against Liman (SRB), the number one 3×3 player in the world Dusan Domovic Bulut drove hard to the basket, drew the foul and got the acrobatic finish to fall. With Liman in the penalty, ‘Mr Bullutproof’ ice the game from the free throw line.
His team-mate Dejan Majstorovic was named MVP, just a week after being named MVP of the FIBA 3×3 World Cup 2017.
By reaching the final, both Novi Sad Al Wahda and Liman (whose star Stefan Stojacic was the top scorer in Lipik) qualified for the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Saskatoon Masters, the only one still missing for Bulut’s team.
After getting an automatic spot in 3 World Tour Masters (Debrecen, Mexico City and Prague) based on their #1 rank in the FIBA 3×3 Team Ranking at the end of last season, Novi Sad Al Wahda earned their ticket to the other 4 (Chengdu, Lausanne, Utsunomiya and now Saskatoon) by shining in challengers, these international tournaments which qualify 2 teams to the World Tour directly.
The Cedevita Lipik 3×3 Challenger was the only European-based qualifier to the Saskatoon Masters. As a result, 13 of the 15 top teams in the FIBA 3×3 Team Ranking traveled to Croatia for the event!