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Ljubljana win FIBA 3×3 World Tour Mexico City Masters 2018

MEXICO CITY (FIBA 3×3 World Tour 2018) – Ljubljana (SLO) won the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Mexico City Masters at the Perisur shopping mall on September 8-9.

The 2-time FIBA 3×3 World Tour Winners won their first Masters of the season and stamped their ticket for the Bloomage Beijing Final, that will take place in the Chinese capital on October 27-28.

The Slovenians defeated Ponce, from Puerto Rico, in the final 21-17.

This marks Ljubljana’s 3rd Masters title in World Tour history. They also took home the USD 30,000 cheque.

Jasmin Hercegovac was named MVP of the event after leading all scorers in Mexico with 42 points overall, and scoring 15 points in the final alone.

In the individual contests, Steve Sir (Saskatoon, CAN) won the shoot-out while U.S dunker Connor Barth dominated the dunk contest and cashed in USD 2,500 in prize money.

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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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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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Photo: www.fiba.basketball

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Start of a new era for Hercegovac and 2-time FIBA 3×3 World Tour winners, Team Ljubljana

LJUBLJANA – Former number one 3×3 player in the world Jasmin Hercegovac confirmed Team Ljubljana (SLO) – the 2013 and 2016 FIBA 3×3 World Tour winners – are revamping their roster this season.

“Obviously we are losing a lot of experience,” the Slovenian sharpshooter said.

“Tomo (Cajic) and Ales (Kunc) are 2 guys with whom we achieved everything possible. It will definitely have an impact.”

Cajic and Kunc were both on the team that won the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Abu Dhabi Final just 1,5 years ago.

After losing their title in Beijing last year, the team contemplated changes. The news that Team Kranj (SLO) lost 2 players on long-term injuries was a catalyst: Cajic and Kunc opted to change team ahead of the season.

“There are no hard feelings,” Hercegovac explained. “We love them and truly wish them all the best.”

To fill the void, Ljubljana announced the arrival of sharpshooter Dejan Mlakar, who led Monaco to the quarter-finals of the Debrecen Masters last year.

“When we saw him play in Hungary,” Hercegovac said. “It clicked! We had this guy sparring with us the whole time, what were we thinking? He’s not just a shooter: he can drive, he plays defense. He was the MVP of the Slovenian basketball league in 2013 so he’s a quality player.”

“It was the end of an era for teams playing with 3 big guys,” The Iceman added. “No other team was like that. We are just adjusting our team to the evolution of the game to make our way back on top.”

The talented 26-year-old Jakob Cebasek will be the second addition to Team Ljubljana. The versatile 6ft 7in (2.00m) player made a few appearances for Ljubljana in 2016 and won the Raiffeisen Lugano Challenger back in 2015 with Domzale (SLO).

The returning Blaz ‘Birdman’ Cresnar and Zelimir Zagorac will complete the team.

Do all these changes make Ljubljana contender again? Hercegovac definitely thinks so:

“I believed in my team in previous years and I believe in this team now. I think we have great potential to be back on top of the 3×3 game.”

Source: www.fiba.basketball
Photo: Petar Glebov/Pixsell

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Ljubljana win FIBA 3×3 World Tour Saskatoon Masters 2017

SASKATOON – FIBA 3×3 World Tour reigning champions Ljubljana (SLO) won the first Masters of the World Tour season and clinched their ticket to the Bloomage Beijing Final after besting Team Saskatoon (21-14) on their home turf in the title game on July 15-16.

The two-time World Tour winners were undefeated in the ‘Paris of the Prairies’ and in the final broke the heart of the spectators, who came in numbers to support Team Saskatoon.

Tomo Cajic had a game-high 8 points in the title game, topped the scoring list and was named MVP of the tournament. His teammate Jasmin Hercegovac also contributed 8 points while Blaz ‘Birdman’ Cresnar added 3 and Ales Kunc scored 2.

Team Saskatoon captain Michael Linklater netted a team-high 6 points in the losing effort.

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