Ljubljana win 3x3 World Tour Prague Masters
PRAGUE (2016 FIBA 3x3 World Tour) – The 2013 FIBA 3x3 World Tour winners Ljubljana (SLO) turned back the clock to win the 2016 FIBA 3x3 World Tour Prague Masters - the third of seven Masters - following a hard-fought 19-15 win against Saskatoon (CAN) in the final on 6-7 August 2016.
Ljubljana become the third team to stamp their ticket to the World Tour Final in Abu Dhabi on 27-28 October, after Caguas (PUR) and Novi Sad Al Wahda (UAE).
The sharpshooting Jasmin Hercegovac led all scorers in the final with 9 points, including 3 big shots from behind the arc. Lefty Tomo Cajic contributed 5 while Ales Kunc added 3 and Blaz 'Birdman' Cresnar had 2.
In the losing effort, Michael Linklater and Willie Murdaugh had 6 points apiece for Saskatoon. Michael Lieffers scored 3, including a Top 5-worthy alley-oop.
It was the perfect day for Ljubljana, who would have been knocked out in the pool phase, if not for a cold-blooded Hercegovac two-pointer in the dying seconds of the game against Belgrade on Day One.
Coincidentally, Ljubljana defeated archrivals Novi Sad Al Wahda (UAE) in the semi-finals and Saskatoon (CAN) in the final, two teams which they had axed on their World Tour title run in Istanbul in 2013.
After leading his team to the final and finishing the event third in scoring behind Zeljko Palavra (Vitez, BIH) and Linklater, Hercegovac was named MVP.
On the iconic Wenceslas Square - a UNESCO World Heritage site - local favourite Jan Kratochvil (Humpolec, CZE) got the massive crowd to its feet after winning the Shoot-Out Contest.
Ukrainian pro dunker Vadim 'Miller' Paddubchenko made a ground-breaking debut at the World Tour, defeating four-time FIBA 3x3 Word Tour dunk champion Rafal 'Lipek' Lipinski in the Streetsportline Dunk Contest.
The fourth Masters of the season will be staged in Lausanne, Switzerland on 26-27 August 2016.
Final Standings of the 2016 FIBA 3x3 World Tour Prague Masters:
1. Ljubljana (SLO)
2. Saskatoon (CAN)
3. Novi Sad Al Wahda (UAE)
4. Vitez (BIH)
5. Ostrava (CZE)
6. Piran (SLO)
7. Humpolec (CZE)
8. Budapest (HUN)
9. Vilnius (LTU)
10. Belgrade (SRB)
11. Gdansk (POL)
12. Utrecht (NED)
ABOUT FIBA 3x3
Exciting, urban and innovative, 3x3 is inspired by several forms of streetball played worldwide and is considered the world’s number one urban team sport. Steered by FIBA, games see two teams of three players face off on a basketball half-court.
It was played successfully for the first time in international competition at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore and since then has benefitted from the launch of a yearly city-based FIBA 3x3 World Tour (www.fiba.basketball/3x3worldtour) and national-team world championships.
Nike is FIBA 3x3's Founding Partner.
FIBA 3x3 events are played on Sport Court's floors with Schelde backstops and benefit from Wilson's innovative and specially-made ball for 3x3.