Assembling FIBA 3x3 World Tour return Dream Team
DEBRECEN (Hungary) - Following the first three events of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour season (Debrecen Masters, Hungary Masters, and Europe Masters), we’ve seen a mixture of top teams return to form and newcomers burst onto the scene. It got us thinking.
After a week of play, we've put together our Dream Team from the FIBA 3x3 “bubble”, picking the four players that were atop the player value per game list.
Player value is measured by the following: Shooting-value + Blocked Shots + Key Assists + Buzzer Beaters – Turnovers + (Rebounds/2).
Ignas Vaitkus (Utena Uniclub) - 8.1 P-VAL per game
They fell just one win short of the biggest upset in World Tour history. After winning at Hoptrans3x3, Utena Uniclub came in to Debrecen ranked as the #12 seed. And no #12 seed has ever won a Masters. Vaitkus wasn’t going to back down from anyone. Over five games, the 28-year-old went Sicko Mode, leading the field in PPG (8.2) and Shooting Value PG (5.8), and just for good measure, finished as the third leading rebounder per game (5.0).
He scored at least 9 points in every contest that he played, until the final, where Liman held every player to 5 points or less. Vaitkus was still able to pull out seven highlights in a losing effort. It was the only Masters event that the Lithuanians would participate in, but they left the 3x3 world on notice.
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Westher Molteni (Lausanne) - 8.0 P-VAL per game
The number 1 player in Switzerland came prepared to dominate at the World Tour. At the Hungary Masters, Molteni stuffed the stat sheet to put him atop the P-VALPG rankings ahead of Dusan Bulut. Lausanne just missed out on the bracket but like Rocky Balboa, you can't keep Molteni down.
At the Europe Masters, King Wes and his Lausanne teammates made a run all the way to the semi-finals with the big man scoring from inside and out. He made 63% of his 1-point attempts, shot 37% from beyond the arc, and was a perfect 100% from the free-throw line. He was the second leading rebounder per game over the course of the World Tour (4.8) and threw back eight of his opponents' shots. All in a day's work for the Lausanne captain.
Stefan Stojacic (Liman) - 7.2 P-VAL per game
Mr. Robot had his game working like Optimus Prime, filling up the stat sheet, and ranking third in P-VALPG. He was the MVP of the Debrecen Masters after leading Liman (SRB) to the championship and being the co-top scorer of the event.
Stojacic was balling in Hungary, shooting 41% from 2-point territory and hitting an eye-popping 90% of his free throws. Throw in 14 key assists and 28 rebounds, and you have yourself one of the most valuable players in the 3x3 game.
Joey King (NY Harlem) - 6.7 P-VAL per game
As the saying goes, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. NY Harlem took that approach when it came to feeding the ball into the paint and letting Joey King go to work. The NY Harlem big man has made more 1-point shots than anyone in the World Tour thus far (50) and is tied for fourth in shooting percentage (70%).
He also came through at the charity stripe, knocking down 88% of his free throws. With that type of production down low, we may have a new king of 3x3.