Talented Lausanne aim to make statement against 3×3’s best at Lipik Challenger

LIPIK (Croatia) – Lausanne (SUI) will be aiming to showcase their talents against the world’s best at the Lipik Challenger on June 14 and 15.

Ranked No.21 in the world, Lausanne is one of the rising 3×3 teams and will be boosted by the return of 24-year-old star Natan Jurkovitz, who will make his first appearance on the professional circuit since the Lignano Sabbiadoro Challenger almost a year ago.

Jurkovitz is in hot form after winning the Swiss basketball league with Olympic Fribourg earlier this week. His presence is set to spark the seventh seeds who face an early test against powerhouse Ljubljana in a Pool B blockbuster.

The second seeds will continue to be without towering big man Blaz Cresnar, who suffered a leg injury during the Chengdu Masters.

In their first tournament without ‘Birdman’, the Slovenians performed well at the Ulaanbaatar Challenger with a fourth placed finish after losing a thrilling semi-final to eventual champions Zemun (SRB).

If Ljubljana wants to go all the way, they will likely have to go through world No.1 Novi Sad who are in hot form after winning their last 4 tournaments (3 Challengers and 1 Masters).

It’s a deep field in Lipik with 11 of the top 25 teams in the world competing for the title. Humpolec Bernard (CZE) and Vrbas (SRB) round out the top four seeds and the tournament also features Croatian teams Split Statist and Spalato.

The winner in Lipik takes home $15,000 USD and there is $32,000 overall in prize money – a significant increase from $20,000 in challengers last year.

The two top teams will earn tickets for the Saskatoon Masters on July 20-21 in the fourth stop on this season’s FIBA 3×3 World Tour.

Liman (SRB), Amsterdam (NED), Piran (SLO) and Zemun (SRB) have already qualified for the event in Saskatoon.

Follow the Lipik Challenger live on the official FIBA 3×3 YouTube channel.


Lipik 3×3 Challenger among the major sporting events in Croatia

New recognition for organizers of the Lipik 3×3 Challenger has arrived from the Central State Office for Sport.

According to the decision of the highest state body responsible for the development of sports in Croatia, Lipik 3×3 Challenger is one of the 21 top sports events to be co-financed this year.

This was confirmed on Friday, March 8, by the Decision on allocation of funding to co-finance the organization of major sporting events in 2019, signed by Krešimir Šamija, State Secretary Janica Kostelić’s Deputy.

This decision grants funds totaling HRK 8.9 million, and Lipik 3×3 Challenger will be co-financed in the amount of HRK 200,000.

Some of the most prominent events that had been classified as major sporting events in 2019 along with Lipik 3×3 Challenger are “Snow Queen Trophy” – Audi Fis Ski World Cup Zagreb, ATP Croatia Open Umag, IAAF “Memorial Boris Hanžeković” Zagreb, WTA Croatia Bol Open.


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

Photo: Goran Stanzl/PIXSELL


Varaždin to host Laško 3×3

Laško 3×3 event will be held in Varaždin on May 19. 3×3 is the new Olympic sport with it’s premier scheduled at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

The teams will compete in 2 categories. Local teams will compete in the pre-event starting at 10:00, while professional tournamet is scheduled for 14:00. Twelve Croatian and international teams will compete in the main event.

The winning team gets a chance to qualify for the Cedevita Lipik 3×3 Challenger that will be held on June 22-23, as well as the 1,500 USD in prize money. The two best teams at the Cedevita Lipik 3×3 Challenger get a chance to qualify for the Lausanne Masters.

The event will be organized under the slogan „Laško je košarkaško“ with lots of entertainment and inevitably excellent music.

The competition will be organized by the Libox Lipik Association with 20 years of experience in organizing street basketball events.

FIBA 3×3 rules will be applied for the competition and the event will be livestreamed.


Laško tour to Cedevita Lipik 3×3 Challenger 2018 – Qualification tournament for Wild card for Cedevita Lipik 3×3 Challenger / first team qualifies to Cedevita Lipik 3×3 Challenger. Entry fee: 50 EUR. All players must be registered on

Competition system: 12 teams in total. Knockout phase: quarterfinals, semifinals and final.

Winner gets the Wild card for Cedevita Lipik Challenger, 1.000 USD money prize and 500 USD travel costs.

More information on email:

Hurry up, only 12 teams get a chance to play for Lipik Challenger slot…

Pre event: 10:00 – 13:00

  • amateur tournament only for recreational local teams (not for challenger slot)!
  • come and have fun with friends for the cool awards…

Main event: 14:00 – 21:00

  • professional teams play for challenger slot!!


Lipik 3×3 Challenger organizers recognized as FIBA 3×3 Event Supervisors

The Libox Lipik Association, responsible for street basket tournaments organized in Lipik for 19 consecutive years including 2 Challengers had received another recognition.

FIBA has invited Libox representatives to participate an Event Supervisor workshop that was held in Barcelona. Libox was represented by Ivan Pušćenik and Darian Husko who have been recognized as FIBA 3×3 Event Supervisors to represent FIBA in some of their international events. Libox will be supervising at least one event in 2018, and several in the following, pre-Olympic year.

„Partnership with FIBA in further development and the organization of 3×3 events at the highest level represents a great recognition to our organization. We have been invited to run some of FIBA’s events in Europe and Asia, primarily major competitions such as European and World Championship Qualifiers, Continental Qualifiers, Women’s 3×3, U18, U23.
We are expecting a large expansion of 3×3 basketball in Croatia and the world and we now can actively participate in the 3×3 basketball development.
High-quality organization of the Lipik 3×3 Challenger contributed to this recognition. I want to thank all the members of the organization and our volunteers for the engagement, as well as to Town of Lipik, Cedevita, Heineken and all the other sponsors and donors for their help,“ said Ivan Pušćenik, President of the Libox Association, after the Barcelona meeting.

Tournament organizers from Romania and France had also participated at the aforementioned meeting where they were introduced with the development strategy of 3×3 for the next 2 years and the qualification procedures for the Tokyo Olympics 2020.


Lipik to host world’s best 3×3 players

Cedevita Lipik 3×3 Challenger will be held on June 22- 23.

The new, ever more exciting and attractive 3×3 season in which 3×3 basketball is to experience it’s full affirmation had started in GoYang, South Korea on April 14 2018.

Cedevita Lipik 3×3 Challenger will play an important role in the FIBA 3×3 Pro Season for the third consecutive year with it’s jubilee 20th edition of street basketball tounament to be organized in Lipik.

The number of 3×3 Challengers will increase from 14 last year to a minimum of 20 in 2018 and Lipik will once again join the company of major world metropolises including Moscow, Sydney, Bucharest, Shanghai, Penang, Berlin, Edmonton, Kaunas, Ulaanbaatar, The Hague… The number of 3×3 Masters will increase from 7 last year to 10 in 2018 to additionally popularize 3×3 as the world’s fastest growing urban sport.

World’s best 3×3 players will also have their eyes on the 20,000 USD in prize money and the two best teams at the Cedevita Lipik 3×3 Challenger get a chance to qualify for the Lausanne Masters.

There will be over 1,000,000 USD in prize money during this FIBA 3×3 professional season.

Sixteen teams will compete in Lipik. Qualifying matches start on Friday with 6 teams divided into 2 groups. Group winners get a chance to compete in the main part of the tournament (Friday and Saturday) comprised of a total of 12 teams.

Teams from the USA, Australia, Japan, Uruguay and Mexico interested in participating the event

Although it’s still too early to confirm the list of teams to participate at this year’s event (the exact list of teams should be known five weeks before the tournament, around mid-May), we can confirm that the interest for participating had been expressed by some of the world’s best teams incuding the two-time champion from Lipik, team Novi Sad Al Wahda.

Given that the FIBA 3×3 calendar for this year is not yet fully defined, it’s too early to confirm the hosts to Satellite events (tournaments qualifying the winning team to the Lipik Challenger).

Live TV coverage on Arena sport

Cooperation with Arena sport TV has already been confirmed bringing live coverage for the semi-finals and the final.
The entire event will be livestreamed on on Friday and Saturday.

Challengers (20)

April 14-15 GoYang, South Korea
April 21-22 Nanjing, China
May 5-6 Wuxi, Kina
May 5-6 Penang, Malaysia
May 12-13 Huai An, China
May 18-19 Moscow, Russia
May 19-20 Sydney, Australia
May 26-27 Chengdu, China
June 2-3 Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
June 2-3 The Hague, The Netherlands
June 16-17 Hang Zhou, China
June 16-17 Limassol, Cyprus
June 22-23 Lipik, Croatia
June 30-July 1 Kaunas, Lithuania
July 14-15 Lignano, Italy
July 27-28 Ventspils, Latvia
August 11-12 Bucharest, Romania
August 17-18 Ljubljana, Slovenia
August 31-September 1 Berlin, Germany
September 22-23 Edmonton, Canada

Masters (10)

July 21-22 Saskatoon, Canada
July 28-29 Utsonomiya, Japan
August 4-5 Prague, Czech Republic
August 24-25 Lausanne, Switzerland
August 30-31 Debrecen, Hungary
September 8-9 Mexico City, Mexico
September 22-23 India
September 29-30 Chengdu, China
October 13-14 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
October 27-28 Beijing, China
Photo: Petar Glebov/Pixsell


Vitez Ecos Romari facing difficulties

Palavra skips season due to thrombosis, Bambur 3 months out for tendon injury.

This year’s 3×3 season could not start up worse for team Vitez, currently best ranked team from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Their best player and leader of the team Željko Palavra will miss the season due to deep vein thrombosis diagnosed at the hospital in Nova Bila.
Željko Palavra, a member of the basketball team Kakanj which participated in this year’s Bosnia and Herzegovina basketball league playoffs, had just returned to the court after knee injury.

Two games played with thrombosis

„After the game and the massage, the muscles of my limbs were swollen, and people in the club thought the muscles had been damaged. As the pain was getting stronger I went to a medical examination where ultrasound was done by doctors to determine thrombosis. I have played two games in this condition and I’ve had a lot of luck.
I’ll have to be at the hospital for a few more days, strictly resting,“ said Palavra, currently ranked 40th at the FIBA 3×3 Players Ranking.

Palavra is aware that the diagnosis is not good or encouraging.

“Well, it seems that it’s time for me to skip one year after almost 10 consecutive basketball and streetball seasons. I hope it will only be one year, but the priority now for me is to start walking first and then to gradually and qualitatively recover.
I’m sorry I will not have the chance to play at the Lipik Challenger this year, because of the beatiful memories associated with Lipik and the people involved in the tournament. At the same time, reliving that unforgettable emotion in Lipik is an additional motivation for me to return to the court,“ said Palavra.

Adi Bambur injured

As if the problems with Palavra were not enough, Adi Bambur was injured and will pause for at least three months due to tendon injury.
The new unfavorable circumstances determine the plans and goals of team Vitez for this year’s 3×3 season. However, as Ranko Križanović points out – there will be no withdrawal!

„Of course these circumstances had disrupted us, but we will try to get the maximum out of this season. The new member of our team is Nedim Mustafica, an excellent player who will bring additional quality to our team. We are negotiating with Siniša Štemberger who is also interested in joining us,“ said Križanović.

Siniša Štemberger is currently ranked 30th at the FIBA 3×3 Players Ranking.
Nedim Mustafica (26 years old, 200 cm), played for a number of 3×3 teams last season. Among others, he was a member of the Croatian team Zagreb at the tournaments held in Pale and Stara Gradiška.

Team Vitez Ecos Romari is currently ranked 11th at the FIBA 3×3 Team Ranking. They were a big surprise at the Lipik Challenger 2016 with their first appearance in the Challenger Final which led them to the Prague Masters where they were defeated by team Saskatoon in the semi final.
Last year they had won their first Challenger in Odense, Denmark.

Moscow Challenger

“We plan to participate 4 or 5 Challengers this season and hopefully qualify for a few Wourld Tour Masters events. We had received an invitation for the Moscow Challenger, and we will probably play in The Hague and Ulaanbaatar too.
Of course, we hope for a chance to perform in Lipik for which we are attached by beautiful memories. As for the goals, we would be very pleased to finish the season in the Top 10 teams,“ Križanović concludes.
Photo: Petar Glebov/Pixsell


3×3 Challengers 2017 – recap by the numbers

127 teams from 46 countries participated in 14 3×3 Challengers.

The 2017 season will be remembered by the International Olympic Committee’s decision to include 3×3 basketball as part of the Olympic Basketball program and by the exceptional quality of the competition.
FIBA 3×3 and partners have organized 14 world-wide 3×3 Challengers and 7 World Tour Masters events. Croatia and Lipik can be proud of the fact that they were the organizers of the 3×3 Challenger and hosts to some of the world’s best 3×3 players for the second consecutive year.

Eight Challengers were organized in Europe (The Hague, Odense, Lipik, Sibiu, Bucharest, Moscow, Ljubljana and Berlin), 5 Challengers were organized in Asia (Nanjing, Penang, Huai An, Ulaanbaatar and Taipei) and 1 in South America (Sao Paulo).

127 teams from 46 countries and 6 continents participated in 14 world Challengers. Geographically, 71 European teams competed, followed by 34 teams from Asia (including Novi Sad Al Wahda), 13 teams from South America, 5 teams from North and Central America, 3 teams from Australia and Oceania and 1 from Africa.

Eleven teams represented China, followed by 10 Brazilian teams and 7 teams from Serbia, the Netherlands and Russia, 6 teams from Romania and 5 teams from Malaysia, Slovenia, Germany and Taiwan, 4 teams from Japan and 3 teams from Denmark and Poland. A group of countries with two representatives comprises Croatia, Spain, France, Australia, Lithuania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Uruguay, Canada, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Latvia and the USA.

European teams won all 14 titles and absolutely dominated the competition. The only non-European Challenger finalist was the Brazilian team Sao Paulo DC at the Sao Paulo Challenger. Along with the Brazilian tournament, the only Challenger that has not been fully dominated by European teams was the Nanjig Challenger with team Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) in 3rd, and Saskatoon (Canada) in 4th place.

Team Ljubljana has had record-high 11 Challenger appearances, followed by Novi Sad Al Wahda (7), Zemun and Amsterdam (6), Olimp Belgrade, Liman, Ulaanbaatar and Malaga (5). Croatian teams Split (4) and Zagreb (2) have recorded 6 appearances.

Novi Sad Al Wahda and Riga have won 3 Challenger titles each. Zemun and Liman celebrated twice, followed by Ljubljana, Olimp Belgrade, Piran and Vitez with 1 title. Riga has been the most efficient team with 3 Challenger titles from 3 appearances.

Regarding the Western Balkans region, Serbia dominated. Serbian teams (including Novi Sad Al Wahda which competed under the UAE flag) took 8 Challenger titles. Slovenian teams took the second place with 2 winning titles and Bosnia and Herzegovina was third with 1 title.

Serbia (Zemun, Novi Sad, Liman, Olimp Belgrade, New Belgrade, Detelinara, Raška, Veternik) had 8 representatives, Slovenia (Ljubljana, Kranj, Piran, Bernardin, Slovenske Konjice) 5, Croatia (Split, Zagreb) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (Vitez, Široki brijeg) had 2 representatives each and Montenegro (Bar) 1 representative.


Statist Split in the race for Top 10

Year 2012. 3×3 sport is in the early stage of expansion. Statist Split is one of the most powerful names in the 3×3 world. After winning World Tour Masters in Madrid, team Split qualified for the World Tour Final that was held in Miami. Statist lost the final game and the main culprits for not winning the title were their Puerto Rican rivals. Team Statist completed the season ranked 2nd, although they were ranked 1st for a while.

Since then, team Statist has been resident competitor in the 3×3 world. In 2014 they made their appearance at the WT Masters Lausanne, WT Masters Debrecen in 2016, and their second aapearance in Laussane in 2017.

Season opening in Nanjing

“This year we’ll start the season earlier by appearing in Nanjing, China on April 21-22. We had received an invitation from FIBA 3×3 along with teams Novi Sad, Piran, Riga and Humpolec which are at the top of 3×3 basketball. This invitation represents a great acknowledgment and motivation for the upcoming season,” said Hrvoje Marin, a man with a hundred duties in the Split team and a media relations guy.

Marin does not conceal their ambitious season entering for which they prepare by everyday training. “The goal is to play a lot of quality tournaments and qualify for a few Wourld Tour Masters events. The main goal of the season is to try to get on the top 10 in the world. Currently we are best ranked Croatian team with 16th place in the FIBA 3×3 Team Ranking,” said Marin.

World Cup Philippines

“The most important part of the season is the World Cup that will take place 8-12 June in Manila, Philippines, and I do not need to mention in particular what an honor and pride it is to represent your own country at such competition. Preparations have already begun and we hope to be ready for the challenges that follow,” Marin added.

In addition to the previously mentioned performance at the World Tour Masters in Lauseanne last year, Statist had another 3 apearances on Challengers. They lost the final game in the Hague, they were 5th in Penang, and ended 11th at the Lipik Challenger.

We hope to participate at the Lipik Challenger 2018

“We are very excited to perform in Lipik, which is top notch and is considered one of the most competitive tournaments in the world. The warmth of the people and the hospitality are unbeatable. We are not happy with our last year’s performance because we did’t manage to get through the group phase so we hope for a better performance this season. I believe we’ll have a guaranteed spot in the domestic Challenger in Lipik. Everywhere in the rest of the world best domestic teams perform at home Challengers and this is why I hope to see you again this year in Lipik,” Marin concludes.
Photo: Petar Glebov/Pixsell


First list of 3×3 Challengers unveiled

MIES – FIBA announced on Wednesday the number of 3×3 Challengers would increase from 14 last year to a minimum of 21 in 2018.

These premium direct international qualifiers to the FIBA 3×3 World Tour will make a first-ever appearance in Australia, Cyprus, Italy, South Korea, Latvia and Lithuania.

Saskatoon Masters (21-22 July)

Event Organiser Country Date
Hanam Challenger Korea 3×3 Basketball League South Korea 14-15 April
Chengdu Challenger Chengdu Basketball Association China 26-27 May


Utsunomiya Masters (28-29 July)

Event Organiser Country Date
Wuxi Challenger Fountask China 28-29 April
Melbourne Challenger Basketball Australia Australia 19-20 May


Prague Masters (4-5 August)

Event Organiser Country Date
Moscow Open Challenger Streetbasket Russia Russia 18-19 May
The Hague Challenger NBB Netherlands 2-3 June
Kaunas Challenger Sporto namų grupė Lithuania 30 June – 1 July


Lausanne Masters (24-25 August)

Event Organiser Country Date
Lignano Challenger FIP Italy 14-15 July
Lipik Challenger LIBOX Croatia 6-7 July
Ventspils Challenger Ghetto Basket Latvia 27-28 July


Debrecen Masters (30-31 August)

Event Organiser Country Date
Bucharest Challenger SportArena Romania 11-12 August
Ljubljana Challenger KZS Slovenia 18-19 August
Limassol Challenger Limassol 3on3 Cyprus 16-17 June


Mexico City Masters (8-9 September)

Event Organiser Country Date
Sao Paolo Challenger ANB Brazil tbc


Quito Masters (22-23 September)

Event Organiser Country Date
Berlin Challenger DBB Germany 31 August – 1 September
World Hoops Penang Challenger World Hoops Malaysia 5-6 May


Chengdu  Masters (29-30 September)

Event Organiser Country Date
Nanjing Challenger Fountask China 21-22 April
Hang Zhou Challenger Zhe Jiang Basketball Association China 16-17 June


Kuala Lumpur Masters (6-7 October)

Event Organiser Country Date
Huai An Challenger Fountask China 12-13 May
Ulaanbaatar Challenger Mongolia Basketball Federation Mongolia 2-3 June
Qingdao Challenger CBA China tbc

Sixteen invitational teams take part in each Challenger and the two finalists stamp their ticket to a designated FIBA 3×3 World Tour Masters (unless they are already qualified to the same Masters).

Prize money will reach 20k USD in each one of these challengers this season, a key contribution in the professionalization of the game (close to 1.5 million USD on the entire pro circuit, including the FIBA 3×3 World Tour).

A finalist list of World Tour qualifiers (which may include more challengers) will be announced at a later stage.

While the majority of the World Tour spots are allocated to teams who won a qualifier, 2 tickets per Masters are allocated based on the FIBA 3×3 Team Ranking. Additionally, each World Tour Masters organizer is awarded a local wildcard.

All organizers interested in hosting a 3×3 Challenger in following seasons can contact FIBA’s 3×3 team.