Everything you need to know before FIBA 3x3 Hong Kong Masters 2022
HONG KONG - The regular season finale is set to explode in a glitzy new location as the FIBA 3x3 World Tour journeys to Hong Kong for the first time on November 26-27, 2022.
Here are the important details for the 11th event of the season, which is the last Masters ahead of next month's showpiece Abu Dhabi Final.
Where can I watch the Hong Kong Masters?
The action runs from November 26-27, and you can follow it live on TV and on the FIBA 3x3 YouTube, Facebook, Sina Weibo and Douyin pages.
Who is competing in Hong Kong?
The top eight teams in the world rankings and a total of 16 squads: Ub Huishan NE, Liman, Antwerp, Riga, Amsterdam HiPRO, Vienna, Sakiai Gulbele, Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy, Cebu Chooks, Beijing, Kaohsiung, Kowloon, Wu Kai Sha, Yogyakarta Gojek, HKG Island, Hong Kong
What are the pools?
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Who are the favorites?
There are five Masters winners this season in the draw so they have to be included here.
We just have to start off with Riga (LAT), who are on one of the greatest streaks in 3x3 history and have won their last 25 games on the pro circuit. Superhero duo Karlis Lasmanis and Nauris Miezis average 15 points combined a game on the World Tour, so that's proving mightily hard to stop.
They edged out Ub (SRB) in the final in Riyadh for bragging rights and they seem invincible right now. But there isn't much between these two spectacular teams although Ub's chances for redemption in Hong Kong took a hit with Nemanja Barac missing.
Those two are starting to separate from the pack but Liman (SRB) have every right to feel annoyed at being overlooked. They haven't done much wrong this season and still can dominate the paint through big fella Mihailo Vasic.
Antwerp (BEL) and Vienna (AUT) are first-time Masters winners this season and want to add another title before the regular season is out. With walking buckets Thibaut Vervoort and Stefan Stojacic leading the way, the European heavyweights should enter Hong Kong with swagger.
The winner might not necessarily come from above underlining this insanely loaded field. Amsterdam HiPRO (NED) and Sakiai Gulbele (LTU) probably deserve to be among the favorites even though they have not won a Masters this season, while Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy (MGL), Cebu Chooks (PHI) and Beijing (CHN) loom as ultimate dark horses.
Who are the best players?
The race for the crown of best player in the game is well and truly alive. It appeared a wrap when Strahinja Stojacic was collecting MVPs like crazy but then Karlis Lasmanis landed Flight KLM on the half-court to remind everyone that he's a 3x3 marvel.
Lasmanis though shares the spoils on his team with partner-in-crime Nauris Miezis, who turns into a Mortal Kombat character in the clutch and finishes off opponents.
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There are plenty of other stars. If you want a sniper than pick your poison - Steve Sir, Stefan Kojic and Arvin Slagter can get wet in Hong Kong. For an all-round scorer than Thibaut Vervoort, Stefan Stojacic and Dimeo van der Horst are dudes who are all averaging more than 6.5 ppg this season and can go toe-to-toe- with anyone.
For entertainment value, it might just be Mac Tallo who brings that streetball vibe to the big stage of the World Tour and he has plenty of fun showing up opponents.
If you want a glue guy, it's the master - Marko Savic - who probably has the highest IQ the game has seen as underlined by the legendary Serbian's totally full trophy cabinet.