No stopping Riga at Nanjing 3×3 Challenger

NANJING – Riga (LAT) won the Nanjing 3×3 Challenger after defeating Moscow Inanomo (RUS) in the final in Nanjing, China on April 21-22, 2018.

Riga had a perfect run in the old capital of China, winning all 5 games before the 10-minute limit, by an average of more than 8 points.

Their campaign ended the same it started: with a convincing win (21-12 in the final) against Moscow Inanomo, who went all the way from the qualifying draw to the final, with wins against the number 13 (Ulaanbaatar, MGL) and the number 1 team in the world (Novi Sad, SRB).

Both Riga stars Karlis Lasmanis and Nauris Miezis scored 28 points in 5 games but it was the latter, who was voted MVP of the tournament.

Riga confirmed their outstanding start in 2018: with the exception of the Goyang Challenger last week (where they finished 4th), they won 5 titles in 5 tournaments so far this year.

Last season Riga won 3 Challengers but have yet to reach the title game of a World Tour event.

The Nanjing 3×3 Challenger is a direct qualifier to the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Chengdu Masters. The Latvian team however already had secured a spot in China thanks to their FIBA 3×3 Team Ranking. One good reason to come to Nanjing though: they took home 10,000 USD in prize money.

The fact Riga had already qualified means both Moscow Inanomo and third-place Ulaanbaatar will join them in Chengdu on September 29-30, 2018.

Both teams are relatively new on the professional circuit. Moscow will make their World Tour debut this year while Ulaanbaatar celebrated their only previous World Tour appearance with a semi-final finish at the Utsunomiya Masters last year.

The 4 Ulaanbaatar players now switch their attention to national team 3×3 basketball. They will try to defend Mongolia’s title at the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup in Shenzhen, China on April 27-May 1.

A total of 16 teams from 9 different countries played in Nanjing, including 6 of the Top 20 teams in the world: Novi Sad (SRB, #1), Piran (SLO, #4), Riga (LAT, #6), Ulaanbaatar (MGL, #13), Humpolec Bernard (#CZE, 16) and Split Statist (CRO, #18).

Final standings

  1. Riga (LAT)
  2. Moscow Inanomo (RUS)
  3. Ulaanbaatar (MGL)
  4. Split Statist (CRO)
  5. Novi Sad (SRB)



Nanjing Challenger preview: Novi Sad are back

NANJING – The number one 3×3 team in the world Novi Sad (SRB) makes its season debut at the Nanjing Challenger on April 21-22, 2018.

3×3 star Dusan Bulut makes his return to Nanjing, where he broke the Internet last year with a sick ridiculous shammgod between the legs.

The 2-time FIBA 3×3 World Tour winners will be looking to stop a cold streak on the 3×3 circuit. Their last title dates back to September 8, 2017 when they won the ING-DiBa 3×3 Berlin Challenger.

After battling with injuries all year in 2017, Novi Sad will start the season with their historic quarter of Bulut, number 1 player in the world Dejan Majstorovic, Marko Savic and Marko Zdero.

They will also bring back their historic name of Novi Sad (SRB) for the first time since they won the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Tokyo Final in 2014.

It won’t be a walk in the park for the Serbs, who will have to deal with 2 other teams currently ranked in the Top 10, who both defeated them at the World Tour last year: Piran (SLO, #4) and Riga (LAT, #6).

Three additional Top 20 teams will play in China: Ulaanbaatar (MGL #13), who finished 3rd at the Nanjing Challenger last year, Humpolec Bernard (CZE, #16) and Split Statist (CRO, #18).

The two best teams at the Nanjing Challenger get a chance to qualify for the Chengdu Masters on September 29-30, 2018.

Since Riga have already secured their ticket to Chengdu (via the Masters draft), the team ranked 3rd will join them in China if the Latvians reach the final in Chengdu.

The only other team who has already clinched its spot to Chengdu (via the Masters draft too) is Liman (SRB).

The 16 participating teams from 9 different countries will also compete for 20,000 USD in prize money.