Liman return with strong performance on Day 1 of FIBA 3x3 World Tour Mexico City Masters 2017
Liman, who won the Debrecen Masters one month ago, were absent from last week's Chengdu Masters but they made their presence known in Mexico as they opened Day 1 with 2-0 start.
Aleksandar Ratkov led the team in scoring with 21 points and added one of his signature Top 5 circus shots in a 21-15 victory over Rio Preto (BRA). Stefan Stojacic was his predictable flawless self scoring 16 points including 2 dunks and earning Player of the Day honors.
Meanwhile, the other Serbian players won their pools as well. In Pool A, Novi Sad Al Wahda (UAE) started off a bit jetlagged against Sukhbaatar (MGL) but soon broke away with 21-12 victory. In their next match, there was no question who was the number one team in the world with a 21-6 victory over Santos (BRA). Dusan Bulut led the team in scoring with 18 points.
Pool D featured the game of the day between last week's winners Piran (SLO) vs. Belgrade (SRB). Belgrade held a comfortable lead consistently throughout the game but Piran showed their experience to come back to within 2 points. The final score was a 18-15 win for Belgrade.
While Pool C had Zemun beat the hometown Mexican team Mexico UNAM (MEX) and Sao Paulo DC (BRA) to earn top place.
In the race for the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Bloomage Beijing Final, Hamamatsu (JPN) had a chance to qualify if they reached 7th place or higher. They won the qualifying draw to enter into Pool D however they were knocked out of the tournament after losing both their pool games. They now have no chance to reach the Final.
The 3 Brazilian teams Rio Preto, São Paulo DC and Santos are the last 3 teams who can stop 12th-ranked Humpolec (CZE) from playing in Beijing. But for this to happen, at least one of them must reach the final of the Mexico City Masters.
The 10th-ranked Lausanne are now guaranteed to fly to China after the 3 Brazilian teams each of them dropped a game in the pool phase, since the first tie-breaker in the World Tour standings is winning percentage. Lausanne finished 2nd at the Lausanne Masters with an 80% winning percentage (the only loss they suffered was in the final against Novi Sad Al Wahda).
In other words, if one of the Brazilian teams win the Mexico City Masters, Lausanne are bumped to 12th overall and qualify and Humpolec do not travel to Beijing. If one of the Brazilian teams finish second at the Mexico City Masters, they will move past Humpolec but not Lausanne since their winning percentage will be just 60%.
In the Shoot-Out Contest Qualifier, Simon Finzgar (Piran, SLO), Fernando Fischer (Santos, BRA), Dejan Majstorovic (Novi Sad Al Wahda, UAE) and Marko Petrovic (Belgrade, SRB) earned their place in the final tomorrow.
Novi Sad AlWahda (UAE, 1) vs. Piran (SLO, 4)
Zemun (SRB, 3) vs. Rio Preto (BRA, 8)
Liman (SRB, 2) vs. São Paulo DC (BRA, 6)
Belgrade (SRB, 5) vs. Santos (BRA, 9)