PENANG (Malaysia) – A courageous Novi Sad (SRB) were pushed to the limit by in-form Edmonton (CAN) but returned to winning fashion at the third 3×3 Challenger of the season in Penang, Malaysia, on May 11-12, 2019.
The No.1 team in the world had to do it the hard way in the last-minute absence of Dusan Bulut. The three-man lineup of Dejan Majstorovic, Marko Zdero and Marko Savic produced a gutsy performance and overcame an early loss to Edmonton in the pool stage to beat the Canadians in the final.
Much to their delight, Novi Sad thrillingly beat their Serbian rivals Liman (SRB) 21-19 in the quarter-finals in the latest chapter between the two best teams in the world. It was sweet revenge for Novi Sad, whose 35-game winning streak ended at the hands of Liman during last month’s Doha Masters.
Majstorovic reminded everyone why he is ‘The Maestro’ in Malaysia. In the knockout stages, Majstorovic stepped up with a dominant 15 points against Liman, 16 versus Tokyo Dime (JPN) in the semis and then a game-high 9 points in the final.
He was splashing from another postcode but also deadly from inside to deservedly win the MVP after finishing with an incredible 57 points (34 from behind the arc).
The Serbs usually play their best on the big stage and this was no exception as they raced out of the blocks faster than Usain Bolt. Majstorovic continued his hot form with a couple of two-pieces to give Novi Sad a commanding 11-4 lead.
It looked like an easy win until Edmonton found their groove. 25-year-old Jordan Jensen-Whyte played tough defense to force Novi Sad into turnovers. Landry and Jermaine Bucknor feasted inside to get the Canadians within two.
But, fittingly, Majstorovic iced the game at the line to seal Novi Sad’s crown.