Liman eyeing success at Seoul 3x3 Challenger to book another Masters spot in Nanjing
SEOUL (Korea) - World No.2 Liman (SRB) are aiming for a strong showing at the Seoul Challenger on September 28-29 to continue their perfect streak of Masters appearances.
The Serbian powerhouse are the only team to have qualified for every Masters on the World Tour this season. The Debrecen Masters champs sit on top of the World Tour standings ahead of arch-rivals Novi Sad (SRB).
Liman fell short of their second Masters title of the season when they lost to Princeton (USA) in the final of the Los Angeles Masters, powered by L.A. Times 2019. It has been a rollercoaster year for Liman due to injuries but they will boast the same line-up from LA headed by the World Tour's leading scorer Mihailo Vasic.
It's going to be no easy task for Liman to book a berth to the Nanjing Masters next month. No.2 seeds Piran (SLO) are hoping to rebound after a shock quarter-final defeat to Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy (MGL). The Saskatoon Masters champs have fallen away slightly in recent times after a hot streak mid-year.
A major threat will surely be No.3 seeds Sakiai Gulbele (LTU) who have taken the World Tour by storm recently. The lethal Lithuanians won their first ever Masters in Montreal last month and have risen to No.9 in the world as they eye a spot in the Utsunomiya Final.
They spectacularly defeated Liman at the Sukhbaatar Challenger earlier this month. Aurelijus Pukelis and Marijus Uzupis have been lighting it up to underline Sakiai's explosive firepower.
A dark horse might be Lausanne (SUI) - the supremely talented Swiss team who haven't always been able to put it together. They will be looking for a major confidence boost after struggling in LA, where they disappointingly exited at the pool stage.
Eight of the top 26 ranked teams in the world will compete in the 16-team tournament, including 4 from hosts Korea. The winner in Seoul takes home $15,000 USD and there is $32,000 overall in prize money - a significant increase from $20,000 in challengers last year.
The two top teams earn tickets for the Nanjing Masters on October 12-13 in the 10th stop on this season's FIBA 3x3 World Tour.
World No.3 Riga Ghetto (LAT), Amsterdam (NED) and American teams NY Harlem (USA) and New York City (USA) have already qualified for Nanjing.
Follow the Korea Challenger live on the official FIBA 3x3 YouTube channel.