Powerful Princeton flying USA’s flag at World Tour Los Angeles Masters powered by L.A. Times
LOS ANGELES (USA) - Princeton (USA) have the hopes of a nation behind them in the inaugural World Tour Los Angeles Masters powered by L.A. Times on September 20-21, 2019.
The No.4 seeds are the only U.S. team in the loaded 12-team competition, which will be held in Los Angeles for the first time. A strong season has fueled Princeton to No.6 in the world rankings but they have fallen short in Masters having lost in the final in Prague and Lausanne.
With plenty of support expected in the stands, Princeton should make a deep run and are led by FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2019 MVP Robbie Hummel along with fellow gold medal winning teammates Damon Huffman and Kareem Maddox.
High flyer Zahir Carrington rounds out the line-up for Princeton, who headline Group D comprising No.5 seeds Amsterdam (NED) and Rio Norte Lendas RJ (BRA).
The 'Group of Death' appears to be Pool B which pits No.2 seeds Liman (SRB) with No.7 Gagarin (RUS) and Jeddah (KSA). Debrecen Masters winners Liman had it tough in Montreal playing with just three players and were without Stefan Kojic who won the MVP in Debrecen.
The short-handed Liman continue to be without superstar Stefan Stojacic but still fought gamely in Montreal to reach the semi-finals.
Liman will be boosted by the return of Kojic in a tough group featuring talented young studs Gagarin (RUS), who are led by 22-year-old dynamo Alexander Zuev - the No.1 ranked Russian player.
Jeddah loom as a dark horse having beaten both Liman and Gagarin in Debrecen en route to a semi-final finish.
No.1 seeds Novi Sad (SRB) highlight Pool A and will be desperate for a Masters victory having not won since back-to-back triumphs in Chengdu and Mexico City mid-year.
In Montreal, the Serbs were stunned by eventual champions Sakiai Gulbele (LTU) in a thrilling semi-final but will be confident of bouncing back. They will boast a full-strength line-up led by the wizardry of Dusan Bulut aka Mr Bullutproof.
Novi Sad are expected to be challenged early by young guns Lausanne (SUI) who made the semi-finals of their home Masters last month highlighted by a pulsating quarter-final victory over Liman.
But they were thrashed in the semis by Princeton setting up a potential chance at revenge against the Americans at some stage in the competition.
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Saskatoon Masters champions Piran (SLO) and the always competitive Zemun (SRB) will face off in a mouth-watering contest to headline action in Pool C, which also features Sao Paulo DC (BRA).
The 12 participating teams - featuring seven of the top 14 ranked teams - compete for USD $75,000 and points to climb up the World Tour standings. Unlike last year, the Masters winners do not qualify directly to the World Tour Final.
The top 12 teams in the standings after the last Masters will head to Utsunomiya, Japan where the final will be played on November 2-3.