Ghetto Basket Ventspils Challenger Preview: Does Riga have the home court advantage?
VENTSPILS (3x3 Challenger) - Riga (LAT) will have the home crowd advantage in the 17th Challenger of the FIBA 3x3 professional season in Ventspils, Latvia on July 28-29 2018.
Riga, ranked 5th in the world, are returning from a disappointing 11th place finish in the first Masters of the season. The team star 24 year-old Karlis Lasmanis was held to only 10 points in Saskatoon as they lost both their games in the pool stage. The team will look to win their third Challenger of the season even though they have already secured a spot to the Lausanne Masters. They will be in Pool B alongside Moscow Inanomo (RUS) and Tbilisi Old Eagles (GEO).
Novi Sad will also look to continue their winning streak from the World Tour Masters to win their first Challenger of 2018. With Dusan Bulut winning MVP and Dejan Majstorovic grabbing top scorer honors at the Saskatoon Masters, it looks like the Novi Sad train is back on track. They will face Marupe LSA (LAT) and Kaunas (LTU) in Pool A.
Pool C has seasoned veteran 3x3 team Belgrade (SRB) looking to secure a spot to their 3rd Masters of the season. They will play against Ralja Intergalactic (SRB) and QD A/1 team. The qualifying draw A includes teams from Novi Beograd (SRB), Grizinkalns(LAT), and Piter (RUS).
Finally, Pool D will see Vitez Ecos Romari (BIH) who placed 10th at the Saskatoon Masters play against Kranj (SLO) and winner of Q/D B which includes teams from Vilnius (LTU), Kraslava (LAT), and Bijlmermeer (NED).
Teams will compete for 20,000 USD and two tickets to the FIBA 3x3 Lausanne Masters 2018. Novi Sad (SRB), and Riga(LAT) are already qualified for Lausanne. If one of them finish in the Top 2, then, the next team in the standings will make it to the Olympic capital.
Liman (SRB), Zemun (SRB), Ljubljana (SLO) and Humpolec Bernard (CZE) are the other teams who have already stamped their ticket to Lausanne.