Impressive Liman claim title over Amsterdam at the Kunshan 3×3 Challenger

KUNSHAN (China) – Serbian powerhouse Liman (SRB) tasted title success after easily beating Amsterdam (NED) at the fourth 3×3 Challenger of the season in Kunshan, China, on May 18-19, 2019.

The world No.2 had performed well in the absence of superstar Stefan Stojacic but were unable to go all the way, notably at the Doha Masters where the Serbs finished second.

In Kunshan, they were pushed early by Russian team Sosnovy Bor Cop Rosatom 22-18 before impressively raising their game.

Liman got revenge over Pasig Chooks (PHI) with a 22-12 beat down after the Filipinos had beaten them in Doha. They then dominated the knockout stages with Stefan Kojic bringing his own two-piece in the final as Liman thrashed Amsterdam 21-11.

In the continual absence of Stojacic, Liman’s players had to step up. Kojic, the No.8 ranked player in the world, particularly lifted his game and was the leading scorer in the tournament with 41 points.

Kojic was brilliant when it mattered most with 9 points in the quarter-finals against Korolev (RUS) but saved his best for last.

Against Amsterdam, he scored 12 points and became Steph Curry from another postcode connecting on all four of his shots from behind the arc.

Liman were determined not to let the title slip on this occasion. Kojic and Maksim Kovacevic took turns in splashing from deep as the Serbs raced out to a big early lead. It wasn’t just their outside game that dazzled, a pretty spin move in the paint from Mihailo Vasic saw Liman dominate everywhere.

Only a thunderous dunk by Jesper Jobse provided cheer for Amsterdam but this game was never in doubt. Kojic went bang, bang as Liman celebrated a long-awaited triumph.

Liman and Amsterdam won their tickets to the second Masters of the season in Chengdu. The China event is headlined by world No.1 Novi Sad while Riga Ghetto had already qualified as the Latvians aim to win their second straight Masters.


Amsterdam Inoxdeals win Cedevita Ljubljana 3×3 Challenger

LJUBLJANA (3×3 Challengers) – Amsterdam Inoxdeals (NED) won their 3rd Challenger of the season after narrowly edging out Vrbas Avai (SRB) 21-19 in the final of the Cedevita Ljubljana 3×3 Challenger in Slovenia on August 17-18.

After winning at the The Hague and Kaunas Challengers and finishing 2nd at the World Tour Utsunomiya Masters, the Dutch champions continued their killer season start in Ljubljana.

The number 7 team in the world did not lose a single game in the Slovenian capital but had to sweat to win the USD 10,000 cheque in the final against Vrbas Avai. After the Serbs made a furious comeback down 19-20, tournament MVP Dimeo Van den Horst took the baseline and timed his floater to perfection.

Both teams earned a ticket to the Debrecen Masters, which will take place on August 30-31. It will be Amsterdam Inoxdeals’ 5th Masters this year! Vrbas Avai will make their World Tour debut in Hungary but 3×3 fans will recognize a few faces there, starting with event top scorer Danilo Mijatovic, who represented Serbia at the FIBA 3×3 Europe Cup last year. The list goes on with the speedy Filip Simic, who played at the Lausanne Masters in 2016 with Team Obrenovac and Strahinja Stojacic, who’s none other than the number one 3×3 player in the world, Stefan Stojacic’s brother.

In total, 5 teams in the Top 10 and 16 teams from 10 countries brought a huge crowd to the city center of Ljubljana for 2 days for a total of USD 20,000 in prize money.

The other 6 teams who have already qualified to the Debrecen Masters are Belgrade (SRB), Humpolec Bernard (CZE), Kranj (SLO), Liman Tesla Voda (SRB), Novi Sad Al Wahda (SRB) and Riga (LAT).

The next Challenger is the ING-DiBa Berlin 3×3 Challenger and will be held in Germany on August 31 – September 1.


Liman Tesla Voda win FIBA 3×3 World Tour Utsunomiya Masters

UTSUNOMIYA (FIBA 3×3 World Tour) – Liman Tesla Voda (SRB) won the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Utsunomiya Masters 2018 in Japan on July 28-29.

The Serbian squad bounced back in the best way after losing in the title game of the Saskatoon Masters a week ago. The number 2 team in the world defeated Amsterdam Inoxdeals (NED) in the final in Japan.

Stefan Kojic led all scorers in the final with 6 points. His teammate Stefan Stojacic added 4 and was named MVP after scoring a third-best 27 points, including a cold-blooded game-winner in the quarter-finals against Humpolec Bernard (CZE).

This marked Liman Tesla Voda’s third all-time Masters title. They took home the USD 30,000 cheque and stamped their ticket to the Bloomage Beijing Final, which will take place on October 27-28.

In the individual contests, local favorite Sho Hasegawa (Okayama) won the shoot-out contest. US pro dunker Jordan Southerland dominated the dunk contest and cashed in USD 2,500 in prize money.

Utsunomiya was hosting a FIBA 3×3 World Tour Masters for the third year in a row, in one of the most iconic locations in the history of 3×3, in front of the Futaarayama Jinja shrine.

The third Masters of the season will be held in Prague, Czech Republic on August 4-5.


Amsterdam Inoxdeals do it again at Kaunas 3×3 Challenger

KAUNAS (3×3 Challengers) – Amsterdam Inoxdeals (NED) won their second Challenger of the season after edging out Belgrade (SRB) in overtime in the final of the Kaunas 3×3 Challenger on June 30 – July 1.

Just 4 weeks after taking home their first-ever Challenger in The Hague, the Dutch team continued their hot streak in Lithuania. Despite missing their top ranked player Jesper Jobse, they went undefeated over the weekend though they got a big scare in the final.

Down one with time running out, event top scorer Dimeo Van den Horst went hard to the basket, spin move and finished over Dragan Bjelica. In overtime, the other newcomer on the team Aron Rojié came off a screen, faked, set his feet behind the arc and splashed the 2-pointer for the win, the 10,000 USD and the ticket to the World Tour Prague Masters.

Since the Dutch had already secured their spot there in The Hague, third-place Moscow Inanomo (RUS) join Amsterdam and Belgrade in the Czech capital.

All 3 teams have now secured a ticket to 2 Masters this season.

Eight Prague Masters participants are now confirmed. The other 5 are Liman (SRB), Piran (SLO), Gagarin (RUS), Humpolec Bernard (CZE) and Ralja Intergalactic (SRB). The Prague Masters is the third World Tour event of the season and will be held on August 4-5 on the UNESCO World Heritage site of Wenceslas Square.

Four of the Top 20 teams in the world and a total of 16 teams from 10 different countries competed in Lithuania.

The next Challenger will be held in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy on July 14-15.



Amsterdam Inoxdeals make history at The Hague 3×3 Challenger

THE HAGUE (3×3 Challengers) – Amsterdam Inoxdeals (NED) won their first-ever 3×3 Challenger after taking down Ralja Intergalactic (SRB) in the final of the The Hague 3×3 Challenger on June 2-3, 2018.

After finishing 2nd in 2016 and 3rd in 2017, the number one 3×3 player in the Netherlands Jesper Jobse eventually won the The Hague Challenger. It took him to go full beast mode for Amsterdam to win a tournament that featured 6 of the Top 20 teams in the world.

The lefty led all scorers by a 10 point-margin and guided his team to prestige victories on Day 2 against 2-time World Tour winners Ljubljana (SLO) in the quarter-finals, the best team in the US – Princeton – in the semi-finals and a surprise Ralja Intergalactic team in the final.

The championship game was pretty one-sided though the local fans may have had déjà-vu when Ralja was down by 6 with 2 minutes to go. In the semi-finals, with the Serbian team down 17-11 against event favorites Riga (LAT), the diminutive Nebojsa Kilijan fueled a lethal 8-1 run that led to a 19-18 win.

But with the beach on the horizon, the Dutch would not bury their head in the sand. Dimeo Van der Horst set his feet in the corner and splashed a game-winning 2, that set the crowd on fire.

Besides the 10,000 USD winning cheque, Amsterdam also secured a second ticket to the World Tour. After winning a trip to the Utsunomiya Masters at the Sydney Challenger (they finished 3rd but 2nd-placed Melbourne i-Athletic (AUS) were already qualified via the NBL Pro Hustle League), the team now has secured a spot at the Prague Masters.

Ralja also wrote an important page of their history by winning their first pass to the World Tour. Very big man (6ft 10, 2.10m) Nikola Vujovic is the only player with World Tour experience: he made 1 appearance with Team Maribor (SLO) at the Lausanne Masters back in 2016.

A total of 6 teams have now qualified for the Prague Masters, which will be held on August 4-5. Liman (SRB) and Piran (SLO) [based on ranking], Amsterdam Inoxdeals (NED), Gagarin (RUS), Humpolec Bernard (CZE) and Ralja Intergalactic (SRB).

The next Challengers will be held in Hangzhou, China and Limassol, Cyprus on June 16-17, just after the FIBA 3×3 World Cup.

It has to be a boost of confidence for the 4 players who won the The Hague Challenger and will represent the Netherlands at the World Cup. Maybe a wake-up call for the Riga players who will represent Latvia in the Philippines.

Final Standings:

  1. Amsterdam Inoxdeals (NED)
  2. Ralja Intglactic (SRB)
  3. Riga (LAT)
  4. Princeton (USA)
  5. Ljubljana (SLO)

Top Scorers:

  1. Jesper Jobse (Amsterdam Inoxdeals ) 38 pts
  2. Agnar Cavars (Riga) 28 pts, Robbie Hummel (Princeton) 28 pts
  3. Nebojsa Kilijan (Ralja Intglactic) 28 pts
  4. Nauris Miezis (Riga) 25 pts