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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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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)

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