Pools announced for FIBA 3x3 Prague Masters 2021
PRAGUE (Czech Republic) - The 8th edition of the Prague Masters is set to take place Sep 18-19, 2021 in the Czech Republic's capital city.
Sixteen teams have qualified for the 5th Masters of the World Tour season, returning back to a regular 3x3 location.
Instead, we'll be treated to many of the world's best teams and players looking for their first World Tour win of the year. In fact, we're guaranteed a new winner. This field includes only six teams who have had World Tour action in 2021, with Riga, the highest-ranked,in the World Tour standings at number 3.
But, it's Liman (SRB) that is leading the pack in Prague, listed as the number one seed at the event. Despite their seeding, Pool A will be a gauntlet. Aleksandar Ratkov and Mihailo Vasic return to the World Tour following their FIBA 3x3 Europe Cup 2021 gold medal, Serbia's third straight win. They'll face off against Kevin Corre's 8th seeded Jeddah (KSA) and Gagarin (RUS). The 9th seed is going to be a problem for anyone that faces them, especially if Olympic silver medalist Alexander Zuev catches fire.
Pool B is led by Riga (LAT), a team that hasn't gotten back to the top of the mountain since their Tokyo Olympics win. They still remain without the injured Edgars Krumins and will be without Nauris Miezis for the first time this World Tour season. Karlis Lasmanis is going to have to use every tool in his belt if they're to make it to the bracket. They have to contend with Pirot (SRB), which qualified via the ING Hamburg Challenger 2021,and features three World Tour 2017 winners, besides Runa (RUS) the 10th seed, making their first World Tour appearance.
Sakiai Gulbele (LTU) will sit and wait patiently for the other two teams in Pool C to play it out in the qualifying rounds. Aurelijus Pukelis, the number one Lithuanian player in the world leads the team, holding on to the 12th seed in the World Tour Standings 2021. He comes in hot alongside Darius Tarvydas and Šarūnas Vingelis, silver medalists at Europe Cup 2021.
Graz (AUT) are the favorite to come out of Qualifying Draw A, and will go up against Ralja (SRB) and Bojnice Meferesu&a (SVK). Qualifying Draw B will be far more open, as Tel-Aviv (ISR), Marijampolė Mantinga (LTU), and Ibiza (ESP) go for Pool C's final spot.
Pool D is highlighted by Antwerp (BEL) a team that can't seem to make it to the finals, despite two World Tour semi-finals appearances. Is this the weekend that Thibaut Vervoort and Nick Celis put it all together for the Belgians? First, they will have to get past Utena Uniclub (LTU), back in the World Tour by qualifying through Hoptrans 3x3 and Humpolec Bernard (CZE), the local team that finished 8th at in Prague in 2019.
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