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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
Photo: 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
Photo: 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

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Humpolec finally over the hump at Limassol 3×3 Challenger

LIMASSOL (3×3 Challengers) – Humpolec Bernard (CZE) won their first-ever 3×3 Challenger after a dramatic comeback win against Liman Tesla Voda (SRB) in the final of the Limassol 3×3 Challenger on June 16-17, 2018.

Down 11-15 with 90 seconds to go, the number 1 team in Czech Republic look doomed to get their 3rd second-place finish in a row in a challenger this season. After all, the team had reasons to celebrate: the 2 best teams in each challenger get a ticket to a FIBA 3×3 World Tour Masters. And Humpolec Bernard had already secured a spot to Debrecen after Utsunomiya and Prague.

But this time Humpolec finally got over the hump. The new guy on the team Vladimir Sismilich curled to the 2-point arc and launched a perfect shot that the windy beaches of Limassol couldn’t stop.

Though Liman Tesla Voda lost 4,000 USD on this miracle shot, they didn’t lose everything on Cyprus Hill. They can take solace in becoming the first team this season to qualify for 6 World Tour Masters! Get ready to see a lot of Stefan Stojacic this season. He’s expected to play in Saskatoon, Utsunomiya, Prague, Debrecen, Chengdu and Kuala Lumpur.

Novi Sad (SRB) and Kranj (SLO) are the only other 2 squads who have already qualified to the Debrecen Masters, which will take place on August 30-31.

Six of the Top 15 teams in the world and a total of 16 teams from 12 different countries competed in Cyprus.

For the first time this season, 2 French teams made it to the knock-out stage as Nice finished 4th and Paris LCG 5th overall.

The tournament also featured player, MC, commentator Dora Panteli, who will represent the Greek women’s national team at the FIBA 3×3 Europe Cup Andorra Qualifier this weekend.

The next Challenger will be held in Lipik, Croatia on June 22-23.

Source: www.fiba.basketball
Photo: www.fiba.basketball

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Resurgent Saskatoon win Hang Zhou 3×3 Challenger

HANG ZHOU (3×3 Challengers) – Saskatoon bounced back after defeating The Hague (NED) 21-9 in the final of the Hang Zhou 3×3 Challenger on June 16-17, 2018.

There were high expectations for Michael Linklater and his 3 Saskatoon teammates as they represented Canada at the FIBA 3×3 World Cup earlier this month, especially after they had a perfect 4-0 record in the pool phase. But the tournament ended abruptly with a quarter final loss against the Netherlands.

Team Saskatoon proved that setback would not affect the rest of their 3×3 season as they won their 2nd Challenger of the season (after their win in GoYang, South Korea).

After stuttering on their opener (a 13-18 loss to Ralja Intergalactic), the Canadians won their next 4, with 2 wins against Top 10 teams in the world (Riga (LAT) and Kranj (SLO)).

After breaking the rim at the dunk contest, Michael Lieffers aka ‘Maple Lief’ gave Saskatoon a lift in a one-sided 21-9 in the final against a surprising The Hague team, which beat last year’s World Tour winners Zemun (SRB) in pool play.

Both Saskatoon and The Hague won a pass to the World Tour Chengdu Masters, which will take place on September 29-30. This will mark The Hague’s first World Tour appearance with this roster. Saskatoon had already secured a spot for the Saskatoon Masters by winning the GoYang Challenger.

Liman Tesla Voda (SRB), Riga (LAT), Moscow Inanomo (RUS) and Ulaanbaatar (MGL) are the other 4 teams who have already stamped their ticket to the Chengdu Masters.

Eight of the Top 20 teams in the world (including 4 from the Top 10) and a total of 16 teams from10 different countries competed in Hang Zhou.

The next Challenger will be held in Lipik, Croatia on June 22-23.

Source: www.fiba.basketball
Photo: www.fiba.basketball

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Serbia and Italy win FIBA 3×3 World Cup 2018

PHILIPPINES (FIBA 3×3 World Cup 2018) – Serbia successfully defended the men’s title while Italy rose to the women’s category throne in the FIBA 3×3 World Cup at the Philippine Arena from June 8-12, 2018.

Serbia asserted their dominance of 3×3 with their third straight world title and fourth overall.

Just like in Nantes last year, Serbia waltzed their way to the top with an immaculate 7-0 record here in Bulacan led by no other than Dusan Bulut, who tallied 7 points in their Final win over rivals Netherlands, 16-13. It was a hard-fought win against a gritty Dutch side that wanted to avenge last year’s Finals loss, but Serbia proved to be equal to the task. Newcomer Stefan Stojacic also did well, hitting some big shots en route to 4 points in the Final.

Netherlands were led by Jesper Jobse’s 6 points, while “The Flying Dutchman” Sjoerd van Vilsteren added 4.

In the men’s bronze medal match, Poland had a hot start, but Slovenia proved to be too resilient. Gasper Ovnik hit the game-winning lay-up as Slovenia won, 21-16, and bagged the bronze medal.

Ovnik topped all scorers in the competition with 53 points, while Bulut was named MVP of the men’s category. Bulut was also joined by Jobse and Poland’s Michael Hicks on the Team of the Tournament.

In the women’s category, Italy completed their captivating cinderella run, dethroning Russia, 16-12, in the Final.

Rae Lin D’Alie stayed true to form, seizing the imagination of the crowd with her handles, court vision and scoring. The shortest player of the tournament (5ft 4in, 1.63m) proved to be too hot to handle for the Russians, who just couldn’t find their rhythm.

It was an historic ending for the Italian women, who had never won a medal in the team’s event at the FIBA 3×3 World Cup till this moment.

D’Alie dropped 7 points in the Final, while Giulia Rulli added 4. Russia, meanwhile, saw Anna Leshkovtseva leading the way with 4 points.

In the women’s bronze medal clash, the French took the early advantage and never let up as they defeated China, 21-14. Marie-Eve Paget finished China off with a 2-pointer and scored a total of 6 points.

Rae Lin D’Alie was named women’s MVP and top-scorer. She was joined by Leshkovtseva and China’s Li Yingyun in the Team of the Tournament.

More players were also feted with medals that were presented by FIBA and Philippines officials – including FIBA Vice-President Hamane Niang, Bulacan Mayor Joni Villanueva and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Executive Director Sonny Barrios – in the individual contests.

Alexandra Theodorean made history by winning her second World Cup Skills Contest , 2 years after winning in Guangzhou, China. France’s Marie-Eve Paget got the silver medal, while Kazakhstan’s Zalina Kurazova took home the bronze.

The hosts’ very own Janine Pontejos prevailed in the Shoot-Out Contest and won the first-ever FIBA 3×3 World Cup gold medal for the Philippines. Russia’s Alexandra Stolyar earned a silver medal for Russia, while Hrvoje Marin settled for the bronze.

Ukraine’s Dmitry “Smoove” Krivenko, meanwhile, was adjudged the winner of the Dunk Contest., his second World title .He scored a total of 130 points, including 79 in the Final, where he beat France’s Guy Dupuy. His repertoire included a dunk where he caught the ball after bouncing it between his legs for an emphatic one hand jam, for which he was given a perfect 30. Dupuy pocketed the silver, while Filipino high-flyer David Carlos received the bronze.

Source: www.fiba.basketball
Photo: www.fiba.basketball

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Amsterdam Inoxdeals make history at The Hague 3×3 Challenger

THE HAGUE (3×3 Challengers) – Amsterdam Inoxdeals (NED) won their first-ever 3×3 Challenger after taking down Ralja Intergalactic (SRB) in the final of the The Hague 3×3 Challenger on June 2-3, 2018.

After finishing 2nd in 2016 and 3rd in 2017, the number one 3×3 player in the Netherlands Jesper Jobse eventually won the The Hague Challenger. It took him to go full beast mode for Amsterdam to win a tournament that featured 6 of the Top 20 teams in the world.

The lefty led all scorers by a 10 point-margin and guided his team to prestige victories on Day 2 against 2-time World Tour winners Ljubljana (SLO) in the quarter-finals, the best team in the US – Princeton – in the semi-finals and a surprise Ralja Intergalactic team in the final.

The championship game was pretty one-sided though the local fans may have had déjà-vu when Ralja was down by 6 with 2 minutes to go. In the semi-finals, with the Serbian team down 17-11 against event favorites Riga (LAT), the diminutive Nebojsa Kilijan fueled a lethal 8-1 run that led to a 19-18 win.

But with the beach on the horizon, the Dutch would not bury their head in the sand. Dimeo Van der Horst set his feet in the corner and splashed a game-winning 2, that set the crowd on fire.

Besides the 10,000 USD winning cheque, Amsterdam also secured a second ticket to the World Tour. After winning a trip to the Utsunomiya Masters at the Sydney Challenger (they finished 3rd but 2nd-placed Melbourne i-Athletic (AUS) were already qualified via the NBL Pro Hustle League), the team now has secured a spot at the Prague Masters.

Ralja also wrote an important page of their history by winning their first pass to the World Tour. Very big man (6ft 10, 2.10m) Nikola Vujovic is the only player with World Tour experience: he made 1 appearance with Team Maribor (SLO) at the Lausanne Masters back in 2016.

A total of 6 teams have now qualified for the Prague Masters, which will be held on August 4-5. Liman (SRB) and Piran (SLO) [based on ranking], Amsterdam Inoxdeals (NED), Gagarin (RUS), Humpolec Bernard (CZE) and Ralja Intergalactic (SRB).

The next Challengers will be held in Hangzhou, China and Limassol, Cyprus on June 16-17, just after the FIBA 3×3 World Cup.

It has to be a boost of confidence for the 4 players who won the The Hague Challenger and will represent the Netherlands at the World Cup. Maybe a wake-up call for the Riga players who will represent Latvia in the Philippines.

Final Standings:

  1. Amsterdam Inoxdeals (NED)
  2. Ralja Intglactic (SRB)
  3. Riga (LAT)
  4. Princeton (USA)
  5. Ljubljana (SLO)

Top Scorers:

  1. Jesper Jobse (Amsterdam Inoxdeals ) 38 pts
  2. Agnar Cavars (Riga) 28 pts, Robbie Hummel (Princeton) 28 pts
  3. Nebojsa Kilijan (Ralja Intglactic) 28 pts
  4. Nauris Miezis (Riga) 25 pts

Source: www.fiba.basketball
Photo: www.fiba.basketball

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Piran flex, win third consecutive 3×3 Challenger in Ulaanbaatar

ULAANBAATAR (3×3 Challengers) – Piran (SLO) continued their hot streak by winning their third 3×3 Challenger in 4 weeks after narrowly edging out Melbourne i-Athletic (AUS) 14-12 in the final of the Ulaanbaatar Challenger on June 2-3, 2018.

After taking home 10,000 USD in both Penang and Sydney, the number 4 team in the world collected another 10 grands in Mongolia. They became the first team to win 3 Challengers this season (Liman (SRB) is the only other squad that has won more than 1 (they have 2 titles)).

This title was probably the hardest to get as they ended their 10-game winning streak in their opener against Moskva (RUS). After that they won 3 nail-biters against Saskatoon (CAN) (12-11), Novi Sad (SRB) (18-14) and Melbourne i-Athletic (AUS) (14-12).

It was the second time in a row Piran and Melbourne met in a Challenger Final. Unlike what happened in Sydney 2 weeks earlier (when the Australians played the entire second day without a sub), the game was competitive. The score was tied at 9, 10, 11 and 12, with just 1 minute to go after another beautiful post move, courtesy of tournament top scorer Thomas Garlepp (Melbourne).

But with 35 seconds left, MVP Anze Srebovt bullied his way to the basket. Piran pushed up their defensive intensity and Gasper Ovnik stole the ball. With less than 2 seconds to go, Simon Finzgar finished the game from the line.

Both teams won a ticket to the Kuala Lumpur Masters. This amounts to 5 passes to the World Tour this season for the Slovenians (Mexico City and Prague based on ranking plus India, Kuala Lumpur and Utsunomiya via Challengers). Melbourne will have a chance to avenge their 2 losses against Piran both at Kuala Lumpur and Utsunomiya.

The lineup for the Kuala Lumpur Masters starts to take shape with 6 participants now confirmed. Besides Piran and Melbourne i-Athletic , Zemun (SRB) and Kranj (SLO) [based on ranking], Princeton (USA) and Liman (SRB) have already stamped their ticket to Malaysia.

Seven of the Top 23 teams in the world and a total of 16 teams from 9 different countries competed at the Ulaanbaatar Challenger.

The next Challengers will be held in Hangzhou, China and Limassol, Cyprus on June 16-17, just after the FIBA 3×3 World Cup.

The event was also an interesting preview of the FIBA 3×3 World Cup as Piran (1st), Novi Sad (3rd) and Moskva (5th) featured the core of the Slovenian, Serbian and Russian national teams, which will be the top 3 seeds at the FIBA 3×3 World Cup on June 8-12, 2018.

Final Standings:

  1. Piran (SLO)
  2. Melbourne i-Athletic (AUS)
  3. Novi Sad (SRB)
  4. Ulaanbaatar (MGL)
  5. Moskva (RUS)

Top Scorers:

  1. Thomas Garlepp (Melbourne i-Athletic) 40 pts
  2. Anze Srebovt (Piran) 30 pts
  3. Michael Hicks (Gdansk Energa 3×3) 28 pts
  4. Dusan Domovic Bulut (Novi Sad) 28 pts
  5. Delgernyam Davaasambuu (Ulaanbaatar) 27 pts

Source: www.fiba.basketball
Photo: www.fiba.basketball

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Liman do it again, win Chengdu 3×3 Challenger

CHENGDU (3×3 Challengers) – Liman (SRB) maintained their early season torrid pace by dominating Vitez EcosRomari (BIH) (19-17) in the final of the Chengdu 3×3 Challenger on May 26-27, 2018.

The number two 3×3 team won their 2nd challenger of the season after their success in Wuxi and became the first team to qualify for 5 World Tour Masters this season (Saskatoon, Utsunomiya, Prague, Chengdu and Kuala Lumpur).

The young Serbian team went undefeated in Chengdu but were given a few scares along the way, in a quarter-final overtime thriller against Belgrade (SRB) and in the final against Vitez.

In the championship game, the surprising Vitez – missing their star player Zeljko Palavra – looked Liman right in the eyes and the score was tied at 6, 11 and then again 13. One of the main reasons was former Kranj (SLO) player Sinisa Stemberger who was on a heat check for 2 full days. The Croatian sharpshooter topped all scorers in China.

Liman star Stefan Stojacic struggled at times in Chengdu but he was decisive in the last minute of the championship game with 2 strong drives with 1 minute and 23 seconds to go.

Both finalists won a ticket to the opening World Tour event of the season: the Saskatoon Masters, which will take place on July 28-29.

Two historic teams confirmed their early season woes: both Ljubljana (SLO) and Belgrade (SRB) disappeared in the quarter-finals. Neither of them have been able to stamp a new World Tour ticket since the season started.

Seven of the Top 20 teams in the world and a total of 16 teams from 10 different countries competed at the Chengdu Challenger.

The next Challengers will take place in The Hague, Netherlands and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on June 2-3.

Final Standings:

  1. Liman (SRB)
  2. Vitez EcosRomari (BIH)
  3. Ulaanbaatar (MGL)
  4. Ulaanbaatar (MGL)
  5. Amsterdam Inoxdeals (NED)

Top Scorers:

  1. Sinisa Stemberger (Vitez EcosRomari) 37 pts
  2. Delgernyam Davaasambuu (Ulaanbaatar) 28 pts, Matic Urbas (Kranj) 28 pts
  3. Stefan Stojacic (Liman) 27 pts, Mihailo Vasic (Liman) 27 pts

Source: www.fiba.basketball
Photo: www.fiba.basketball

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New kids on the block Team Gagarin win Tinkoff Moscow Open 3×3 Challenger

MOSCOW (3×3 Challengers) – An U23 team – Gagarin (RUS) – shocked the world by beating Humpolec Bernard (CZE) (20-18) in the final of the Tinkoff Moscow Open 3×3 Challenger on May 18-19, 2018.

It was Space Jam 2.0 in Gorky Park with Team Gagarin (RUS) bouncing back from an opening loss to Novi Sad (SRB) in the pool phase to win the next 4 and put a soaked wet Russian crowd on fire.

The #15 seed upset 3 Top 20 teams in the world in the knock-out rounds, between Split Statist (CRO) in the quarter-finals, Princeton (USA) in the semi-finals and Humpolec Bernard (CZE) in the final.

Alex Antonikovskii, 23 years old. Stanislav Sharov, 22 years old. Daniil Abramovskii, 21 years old. Alexander Zuev, 21 years old. A team of kids won one of the most prestigious and loaded Challengers of the season. The youngest of them all (Zuev) was just unstoppable in Gorky Park. He finished 3rd in scoring and was named MVP of the tournament.

In the final, tournament top scorer Ondrej Siska – who was phenomenal in the semi-finals against Riga (LAT) – carried Humpolec Bernard to an early lead.

In fact, the Czechs were up almost the entire game. Gagarin took their 1st lead with 15-14 on the scoreboard. With the game tied at 16, Zuev buried a big-time step-back 2-pointer. 2014 Youth Olympic Games player Abramovskii extended the lead with a strong drive to the basket. Humpolec star Roman Zachrla’s had a chance to send the game to overtime at the buzzer but missed a desperation shot.

Both finalists stamped a ticket to the World Tour Prague Masters, which will take place on August 4-5. This will mark Gagarin’s first-ever trip to the top event of the 3×3 professional circuit. Humpolec are no stranger to the World Tour. They competed at the World Tour Final last season and had already stamped their ticket to the Utsunomiya Masters 2018 after finishing 2nd at the Wuxi Challenger earlier this season.

It wasn’t a good weekend for the Serbian teams. World Tour 2017 winners Zemun were eliminated in the pool stage and the number one 3×3 team in the world Novi Sad missed out on a World Tour ticket for the 4th time this season after losing to Riga (LAT) in the quarter-finals.

Seven of the Top 20 teams in the world and a total of 16 teams from 8 different countries played at the Tinkoff Moscow Open Challenger.

The next Challenger will take place in Chengdu, China on May 26-27.

Final Standings:

  1. Gagarin (RUS)
  2. Humpolec Bernard (CZE)
  3. Princeton (USA)
  4. Riga (LAT)
  5. Novi Sad (SRB)

Top Scorers:

  1. Ondrej Siska (Humpolec Bernard) 37 pts
  2. Dan Mavraides (Princeton) 36 pts
  3. Alexander Zuev (Gagarin) 36 pts
  4. Roman Zachrla (Humpolec Bernard) 31 pts
  5. Nauris Miezis (Riga) 26 pts

Source: www.fiba.basketball
Photo: www.fiba.basketball