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.


Wuxi Challenger preview: Serbian clash in China?

Wuxi (3×3 Challenger) – Novi Sad (SRB) and Liman (SRB) are the two main attractions at the Wuxi Challenger on May 5-6, 2018.

The 2 teams have won 5 of the 7 World Tour Masters last year and faced off in some of the most epic games in 3×3 history.

Novi Sad, 2-time World Tour winners, will be looking to win their first title of the season after falling in the quarter-finals of the Nanjing Challenger against Moscow Inanomo. Caution: the Russian squad will also compete in Wuxi this weekend.

But there are more reasons to think a Serbian clash in the final is not a guarantee: 3 more Top 20 teams will compete in China this weekend. Ulaanbaatar (MGL, 12th), will feature the 4 players won silver for Mongolia at the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup this week. Humpolec Bernard (CZE, 16th) bring a new-look team, compared to the squad that beat Riga in the pool stage of the World Tour Final last year. Last but not least, Ljubljana East (SLO, 20th) make their 2018 pro debut with 3 of the 4 players who went 20-0 for Slovenia at the FIBA 3×3 U23 Nations League last season.

The two best teams at the Wuxi Challenger qualify to the Utsunomiya Masters on 28-29 July, 2018.

Three teams have already earned a trip to Japan: Zemun (SRB) and Ljubljana (SLO) (based on ranking) and Auckland (NZL).

The 16 participating teams from 7 countries will also compete for 20,000 USD in prize money.