NOVI SAD (Serbia) – World No.1 Novi Sad (SRB) once again emerged victorious but were pushed all the way by an impressive NY Harlem (USA) at the inaugural Novi Sad Challenger on May 24-25, 2019.
After a shock semi-final exit at the Doha Masters last month, Novi Sad are back to their best with Challenger wins in Penang and at home.
With the world’s #1 player Dusan Bulut back in the fold, Novi Sad cruised to victories in the pool stage before raising their game when it mattered most. They gave Zemun a 21-8 beat down in the semi-finals through hot shooting and then prevailed 21-17 over NY Harlem in a thrilling decider in the mecca of 3×3.
Novi Sad are loaded with star players. Everyone contributes. That’s why they are the best in the world. Dejan Majstorovic, the MVP in Penang, continued his hot form and was equal-second highest scorer of the tournament with 35 points.
The crowd was louder than at your grandma’s hoover, but the Americans were not daunted. Disco Domo put the defenders in a spin cycle as he relentlessly drove to the rim in a tight start.
Novi Sad started to pull away with Savic dropping bombs from downtown to give the home team a 13-9 lead. But NY Harlem wasn’t done yet. Kidani Brutus let it fly from another postcode to get the margin down to one point as another thrilling finish loomed.
With the game on the line, Mr Bullutproof is money. He made three layups to get Novi Sad within striking distance and then Ivosev – who had a game high 8 points – finished it off with a fallaway two as the crowd partied like it was New Year’s Eve.
Novi Sad had already qualified for the third Masters event meaning NY Harlem and Liman won the two tickets.
Riga Ghetto (LAT), Princeton (USA) and Edmonton (CAN) also will play at the Mexico Masters on July 6-7.