MOSCOW (Russia) – Novi Sad (SRB) won their 4th event in a row, though Princeton (USA) made them sweat in the final of the Tinkoff Moscow 3×3 Challenger on June 7-8, 2019.
First there was the Penang Challenger, then came the Novi Sad Challenger and the Chengdu Masters: Novi Sad have now won their last 4 events and secured their rank as the number one 3×3 team in the world. They suffered twice in Moscow: first in a scrappy 15-13 win in the quarter-finals against rivals Moscow Inanomo (RUS) and second in a thrilling 21-19 final against Princeton (USA). Novi Sad saw the return of their leader Dusan Bulut, who had the best pass of the tournament (the year so far?).
Marko Savic led all players in key assists and highlights, Dejan Majstorovic finished 4th overall in scoring but it was Tamas Ivosev who won MVP in Moscow after ranking 3rd overall in points, 2nd in rebounds and 1st in blocks.
The final was probably the best game of the tournament, a fast-paced game which had Princeton up 9-7 after just 3 minutes. The 2 teams shot the ball extremely well. Novi Sad only missed 8 shots the entire game (17/25). Eight of their 13 shots inside the arc were assisted. Speaking of passes, Bulut’s crazy pass to an Ivosev 2-pointer helped tie the game. Novi Sad continued a good run and took a commanding 14-11 lead. Princeton responded with a 5-0 run, punctuated by a big 2 from Damon Huffman over Ivosev. Craig Moore buried his 3rd two of the final to give Princeton a 19-17 win and the US team had 5 chances to win the game but the shots stopped falling and the Serbian defense became suffocating. The impeccable 3×3 game of Novi Sad was on full display on the last possession. Bulut stole the ball, found Ivosev behind the arc, who immediately connected with Majstorovic on a perfect backdoor pass for the easy reverse layup.
Novi Sad and Princeton join Liman (SRB), NY Harlem (USA), Piran (SLO) and Zemun (SRB) for the Prague Masters on August 3-4.