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Fribourg produce unbeaten run to win FIBA 3x3 Penang Challenger 2024

PENANG (Malaysia) - Fribourg (SUI) were irresistible during an unbeaten campaign to claim the FIBA 3x3 Penang Challenger 2024 on June 2. 

Here's what happened in the third Challenger of the season.

The winners: Fribourg (SUI)

They were: No.1 most points scored and most highlights & No.2 fewest points allowed.

Despite being seeded at No.7, Fribourg entered as one of the favorites and they justified that status with a brilliant campaign.

It was truly a team performance with the imposing Jurkovitz brothers dominating the paint, while MVP Jonathan Dubas and Roberto Kovac were on heaters.

The Swiss Maestros faced the daunting first-up task of playing in-form No.2 seed Princeton, but they emerged with a thrilling 21-20 victory then edged Sagamihara Enndaruma (JPN). 

Fribourg stepped it up in the quarters with a demolition of Sansar (MGL) as star Nathan Jurkovitz submitted a triple-five of 7 points, 5 rebounds and 6 highlights. 

Dubas then stole the show with 9 points and 6 rebounds in Fribourg's semi-final victory over Saitama ALPHAS EXE (JPN). 

The 6ft.8 in (2.03m) Dubas was on a roll and he starred in the final against NY Harlem (USA) as Fribourg celebrated a much deserved title. 

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The runner's up: NY Harlem (USA)

They were: No.3 fewest points allowed

OGs NY Harlem are back and clearly haven't lost a step as they rewound the clock to reach the final. 

But their stunning run looked unlikely when they fell to No.3 seed Beijing (CHN) in their opener.

A beat down of Bangkok (THA) got them back on track and they showcased some of their famous swagger during spectacular performances against KandavaTuriba (LAT) and Utsunomiya BREX EXE (JPN).  

They couldn't go all the way, but the New Yorkers clearly mean business in 2024.

Legendary Dominique Jones aka 'Disco Domo' grooved on the half-court and combined with his partner-in-crime Kudani Brutas as they once again formed a dynamic duo. 

The Final: Fribourg 21-NY Harlem 15

This was perhaps a surprising final between the 6th and 7th seeds on paper, but no one was shocked to see these teams loaded with talent and swagger in the decider. 

Robert Kovac ended the tournament how he started with a two-ball as Fribourg made the fast start. The Swiss dominated early with Jonathan Dubas and Natan Jurkovitz throwing down massive dunks in powerful statements. 

But real ones know that NY Harlem don't get rattled easily and their confidence is never dented. They can also score quickly and they did exactly that with a 4-0 run in a minute to flip the game on its head. 

But the Swiss also showed they could score in spurts as the Jurkovitz brothers scored five points in a game-changing 6-1 run. 

This game had more twists than a Stephen King novel with Kidani Brutus and Dominique Jones going bang, bang to regain NY Harlem's lead. 

Fribourg hit back once again and this time they maintained control to run away with the title. 


The reward: Three tickets to the Edmonton Masters

Fribourg, NY Harlem and Utsunomiya BREX EXE qualified to the Edmonton Masters on July 6-7.

Final Standings:
1. Fribourg (SUI)
2. NY Harlem (USA)
3. Utsunomiya BREX EXE (JPN)
4. Saitama ALPHAS EXE (JPN)
5. Beijing (CHN)

Top Scorers:
1. Jonathan Dubas (Fribourg, SUI) 36 pts
2. Dominique Jones (NY Harlem, USA) 36 pts
3. Ryo Ozawa (Saitama ALPHAS EXE, JPN) 35 pts
4. Yosuke Saito (Utsunomiya BREX EXE, JPN) 34 pts
5. Roberto Kovac (Fribourg, SUI) 33 pts

Key Stats:
- Yosuke Saito was outstanding for Utsunomiya BREX EXE with his masterpiece being 13 points and a player-value of 16.9 against Alicante Argos Bat (ESP) on Day One.
-New sensation Austin Butler again showcased his enormous potential with 9 points, 6 rebounds and 4 highlights in Princeton's (USA) pool win against Sagamihara Enndaruma (JPN). 
- The magical target of 21 points was hit in every single game of the tournament, with all the games finishing before the 10-minute time limit.