NY Harlem win inaugural Edmonton Challenger

EDMONTON (3×3 Challengers)- NY Harlem 3Ball (USA) won the Edmonton Challenger after defeating Ralja Intergalactic (SRB) 21-17 in the final on September 22-23.

NY Harlem 3Ball won their first challenger of the season against the newest Serbian team on the tour. The final was one of the fastest games of the tournament lasting only 5:30 of game time. Ralja took an early lead as 23-year-old star Nebosja Kilijan scored 3x 2-pointers. It was not enough to beat the 2-time WT Mexico City Masters runner-up Disco Dominque Jones and company.

NY Harlem 3Ball won a USD 10,000 cheque, they also secured a ticket to the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Penang Masters, which will take place in Malaysia on October 13-14.

This means NY Harlem 3Ball will play in their 2 Masters of the 2018 season.

By finishing second, Ralja Intergalactic also won a trip to Malaysia. It will be their 3rd Masters of the season. They are currently ranked 14th on 2018 WT standings and will look to improve upon 6th place finish in Debrecen Masters.

In total, 16 teams from 7 countries competed for 2 days in the West Edmonton Mall for a total of USD 20,000 in prize money.

The other teams who have already clinched their ticket to the Penang Masters are Liman (SRB), Zemun (SRB), Kranj (SLO), Princeton (USA), Piran (SLO), Melbourne (AUS), Delhi (IND), Tachikawa Dice (JPN).

This was the last Challenger of the 2018 season.


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