Denver-Saskatoon rivalry fuelled by Mexico DF seeding
MEXICO DF (2016 FIBA 3x3 World Tour) – Two of the most historic teams of the professional 3x3 circuit – Denver (USA) and Saskatoon (CAN) – will meet as soon as the pool phase following the automatic seeding of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Mexico DF Masters, which will start the FIBA 3x3 World Tour season on 16-17 July.
Last time these two teams met, Saskatoon won a nail-biter of a final at the 2014 FIBA 3x3 World Tour Chicago Masters.
These two teams combined made 9 appearances at the FIBA 3x3 World Tour and 5 trips to the World Tour Final. Denver’s very own Splash Brothers Derek 'Vanilla Gorilla' Griffin and Corey Campbell are to these days the only two players who have played in every one of the 5 editions of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour. Denver are also the reigning champs after their jaw-dropping overtime win in Mexico last year. Saskatoon flirted with a World Tour title when they lost to Novi Sad Al Wahda (UAE) in the 2014 Tokyo Final.
As if Pool A was not loaded enough, add Team Hamilton (CAN) to the mix. The winners of the Canada Quest East finals have an exciting core of players, with 3 players 25 or less.
Like it is the case in all FIBA 3x3 competitions, the seeding is conducted automatically according to the 3x3 individual World ranking (of the three best players from each team). According to the FIBA 3x3 regulations, teams are seeded as follows:
Pool B will be highlighted by none other than NY Harlem (USA) who reached the final in Mexico last year and finished 3rd at the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Abu Dhabi Final. One of the World Tour’s OGs Jonathan Garcia is making his comeback to the World Tour with Team Caguas (PUR) 4 years after winning the first-ever edition of the World Tour. Local favourites Mexico City (MEX) will complete the pool.
Last year’s hero Paris Kyles is back in Mexico, this time with his original Minnesota team. He will need to hit more big shots in Pool C to deal with Montevideo (URU), who is the only other team who played in all 5 editions of the World Tour and newcomers Orlando (USA).
Pool D will showcase two Mexican teams, Mexico UNAM and Chimalhuacán, who won the Mexican Quest this summer. Last but not least, keep an eye on Team New York City (USA), who could be a sleeper in Mexico.
For those not attending the games at the Perisur shopping mall (entrance is free!), pool games will start at 13.10 local time (GMT-5) on Saturday live on FIBA 3x3's official YouTube channel. The top-two placed teams from each pool advance to a standard knock-out round which starts at the quarter-finals stage, from 12.45 local time on Sunday.