3x3 superstar Stojacic set to spectacularly return to World Tour
NOVI SAD (Serbia) - Liman superstar Stefan Stojacic aka 'Mr Robot' admits he will need to calm himself down before stepping onto the court in Debrecen as the FIBA 3x3 World Tour makes its exciting return in 2020.
The 31-year-old has been waiting longer than most having missed most of last year due to initially becoming a father and then suffering a torn calf muscle. The injury was frustrating for the Serb who had been previously locked in a battle with Novi Sad rival Dusan Bulut for the mantle of 3x3's best player.
A fit and firing Stojacic admits it was tough to be on the sidelines but his long-awaited return at the Debrecen Masters starting on August 29 will be extra special. A short-handed Liman won last year in Debrecen after a heroic victory in the final over Riga Ghetto playing without a sub following Stefan Kojic's injury in the semi.
"Watching 3x3 as a spectator was hard because I love playing so much," he says. "I really just can't wait to be back. Before I play the first game, I will need to calm down because I will be full of adrenaline," he added. "I don't want to burn out on the court."
In an ominous warning to rivals, Stojacic believes world No.1 Liman will be even stronger in Hungary after the courageous Serbs played superbly in his lengthy absence last year. "We will be even better because Liman showed such good qualities without me," he says.
"We won't have any chemistry issues because we played for three years together before and also we have been back training recently and preparing tactics.
"We want to win titles and also maintain the world No.1 ranking," he added.
Liman might just write another page of their rivalry in Hungary with compatriots and two-time defending World Tour champions Novi Sad. There could be more on the line than just bragging rights. "We love playing each other and it is always such a great battle," Stojacic says.
"There is also a bit extra because of the Olympics and who our national federation will give the four spots to so that will add more spice to the rivalry."
The former robotics engineer, like almost everyone else in the world, spent a chunk of the year in lockdown but the silver lining was spending more time with his young daughter. "It was a strange time for everyone just being at home but I loved being with my daughter and I'm now used to having not much sleep," Stojacic chuckles.
Since being able to return to practice, the walking bucket has spent time crafting his trademark offensive moves in what should frighten opponents.
"Everyone knows my main moves but it's about sharpening them and I believe I can become an even better player," he says.
The wait isn't long - Stojacic's unstoppable robotic moves will be captivating fans once more.