Riga Ghetto blast competition at Wuxi 3×3 Challenger 2019

WUXI (China) – The number 3 team in the world Riga Ghetto (LAT) won the 1st 3×3 Challenger of the season in Wuxi, China on April 13-14, 2019.

Last year the Latvians were the team that made the most money on the challenger circuit (5 titles, $55,000 in total). The team lived up to the hype in Wuxi with 5 wins in 5 games, including 4 games before the limit.

Their star player Karlis Lasmanis topped all scorers with 39 points (7.8 ppg) and was named MVP of the event. Interestingly the team was playing without their veteran Edgars Krumins. Nauris Miezis was making his official comeback after being sidelined for over a month with a leg injury.

We had an entertaining final in Wuxi (8th fastest game of the tournament). Props to Gagarin for making it a ball game cause it really didn’t look that way after they were down 8-2 and later 17-8. After crazy comeback wins in the quarter and semi-finals, Gagarin once again came from behind. Zuev fueled a 7-0 run with a big 2-pointer with 2 minutes to go to make it a one-possession game. But then Gagarin fell back to Earth. They would not score again. The fans will remember Lasmanis’ double-digit effort in the final (10 points) but Nauris Miezis scored the game-winner and had himself a ball game. He had a very rare triple five with 7 points, 6 highlights (including 5 key assists) and 5 rebounds.

Both Riga Ghetto and Gagarin won their ticket to the 2nd Masters of the season in Chengdu. Novi Sad (SRB) and Ljubljana (SLO) were the only 2 teams to have already clinched a spot in the city of the pandas (based on their ranking). Riga will actually open their World Tour season this week at the Doha Masters. They qualified by winning the 1st edition of the United League Europe in St Petersburg.


Novi Sad Al Wahda win FIBA 3×3 World Tour Prague Masters 2018

PRAGUE (FIBA 3×3 World Tour) – Novi Sad Al Wahda (SRB) made history after winning the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Prague Masters in Czech Republic on August 4-5.

The Serbian squad defeated Gagarin (RUS) 21-12 in the final and became the first team in 3×3 history to go from the Qualifying Draw all the way to the title in a World Tour Masters.

Novi Sad Al Wahda superstar Dusan Bulut was named MVP after leading all scorers at the event, scoring 12 points in the final and dishing an insane spinning no-look behind the back pass, which was featured on ESPN SportsCenter, House of Highlights and all over the web.

This is Novi Sad Al Wahda’s 12th World Tour Masters title. They also took home the USD 30,000 cheque, their second of the season after winning the Saskatoon Masters 2 weeks ago.

Gagarin made quite an impression for their first-ever appearance on the World Tour. The young Russian team (22 years old on average) defeated 2 Top 10 teams in the world back to back to reach the final in Prague.

Polish pro dunker Piotr Grabowski dominated the dunk contest and cashed in USD 2,500 in prize money.

This was the first time the World Tour was played in the front of the iconic Prague Castle but the 6th edition of the Prague Masters overall. Novi Sad Al Wahda won it for the 4th time!

The 4th Masters of the season will be held in the Olympic capital Lausanne, Switzerland on August 24-25.


New kids on the block Team Gagarin win Tinkoff Moscow Open 3×3 Challenger

MOSCOW (3×3 Challengers) – An U23 team – Gagarin (RUS) – shocked the world by beating Humpolec Bernard (CZE) (20-18) in the final of the Tinkoff Moscow Open 3×3 Challenger on May 18-19, 2018.

It was Space Jam 2.0 in Gorky Park with Team Gagarin (RUS) bouncing back from an opening loss to Novi Sad (SRB) in the pool phase to win the next 4 and put a soaked wet Russian crowd on fire.

The #15 seed upset 3 Top 20 teams in the world in the knock-out rounds, between Split Statist (CRO) in the quarter-finals, Princeton (USA) in the semi-finals and Humpolec Bernard (CZE) in the final.

Alex Antonikovskii, 23 years old. Stanislav Sharov, 22 years old. Daniil Abramovskii, 21 years old. Alexander Zuev, 21 years old. A team of kids won one of the most prestigious and loaded Challengers of the season. The youngest of them all (Zuev) was just unstoppable in Gorky Park. He finished 3rd in scoring and was named MVP of the tournament.

In the final, tournament top scorer Ondrej Siska – who was phenomenal in the semi-finals against Riga (LAT) – carried Humpolec Bernard to an early lead.

In fact, the Czechs were up almost the entire game. Gagarin took their 1st lead with 15-14 on the scoreboard. With the game tied at 16, Zuev buried a big-time step-back 2-pointer. 2014 Youth Olympic Games player Abramovskii extended the lead with a strong drive to the basket. Humpolec star Roman Zachrla’s had a chance to send the game to overtime at the buzzer but missed a desperation shot.

Both finalists stamped a ticket to the World Tour Prague Masters, which will take place on August 4-5. This will mark Gagarin’s first-ever trip to the top event of the 3×3 professional circuit. Humpolec are no stranger to the World Tour. They competed at the World Tour Final last season and had already stamped their ticket to the Utsunomiya Masters 2018 after finishing 2nd at the Wuxi Challenger earlier this season.

It wasn’t a good weekend for the Serbian teams. World Tour 2017 winners Zemun were eliminated in the pool stage and the number one 3×3 team in the world Novi Sad missed out on a World Tour ticket for the 4th time this season after losing to Riga (LAT) in the quarter-finals.

Seven of the Top 20 teams in the world and a total of 16 teams from 8 different countries played at the Tinkoff Moscow Open Challenger.

The next Challenger will take place in Chengdu, China on May 26-27.

Final Standings:

  1. Gagarin (RUS)
  2. Humpolec Bernard (CZE)
  3. Princeton (USA)
  4. Riga (LAT)
  5. Novi Sad (SRB)

Top Scorers:

  1. Ondrej Siska (Humpolec Bernard) 37 pts
  2. Dan Mavraides (Princeton) 36 pts
  3. Alexander Zuev (Gagarin) 36 pts
  4. Roman Zachrla (Humpolec Bernard) 31 pts
  5. Nauris Miezis (Riga) 26 pts