Five must-watch games at FIBA 3x3 World Tour Hong Kong Masters 2022
HONG KONG - The world's best teams and players are primed to end the FIBA 3x3 World Tour 2022 regular season with a bang at the first-ever Hong Kong Masters on November 26-27.
With the world's top eight teams journeying to the famous Asian destination, it's little surprise that there are a bunch of blockbusters. Here are five that you just have to watch.
Ub Huishan NE-Cebu Chooks
Upset alert! Ok, maybe we're getting ahead of ourselves but the main draw starts with an absolute firecracker between No.1 seed Ub and Cebu, who might be No.1 in entertainment value.
Their star Mac Tallo is certainly a human highlight reel as he memorably showed when he nearly led Cebu to a major upset over eventual champs Ub at the Manila Masters.
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The man known as 'Spider' was all venom as he scored a game-high 11 points, including crossing up No.1 ranked player Stahinja Stojacic like he was in church.
And Tallo will sniff an upset with Ub looking a little vulnerable without superstar Dejan Majstorovic. There is a lot at stake with a title for Cebu lifting them into the FIBA 3x3 Abu Dhabi Final 2022.
We can't wait to see what happens.
For years, Marko Savic went toe-to-toe for Novi Sad against Liman in the best and most heated 3x3 rivalry.
The Serbian legend is back and out to prove he's one of the best to ever do it against some of his old foes, including sniper Stefan Kojic and big fellas Mihailo Vasic and Aleksandar Ratkov.
As they proved with a strong quarter-final in their World Tour debut at the Montreal Masters, Beijing are stocked with talent as Hanyu Guo and Yuanbo Zhu showed they were a deadly duo.
And they might know a few secrets from their opponents with Peng Yan having played for Liman at a few events in 2019.
No.2 seed Liman have their hands full in a tough Pool B, where they also have to contend with in-form Sakiai Gulbele.
The Lithuanians are on an absolute tear having made the final four in their last five events, including most recently winning the Capivari De Baixo Challenger.
They have perhaps the most underrated duo in 3x3 with Marijus Uzupis and Aurelijus Pukelis averaging 12 ppg between them. They'll certainly need their radar working to match Liman's firepower.
The teams have built a rivalry over the years with Liman having the edge with knockout victories in Lausanne and Utrecht.
Aleksandar Ratkov feasted in the paint in both games to emerge as the standout amongst stars and if he does that again then Liman should have a third big win over Sakiai.
These two European heavyweights clash for the first time in Masters in a match-up between winners on this season's World Tour. Antwerp and Vienna both broke their World Tour drought but are desperate to again taste that winning feeling.
It might just come down to a pair of Masters MVPs with Stefan Stojacic and Thibaut Vervoort set to trade buckets.
Stojacic averages an insane 7.8 ppg on the World Tour while Vervoort isn't far behind at 6.4 ppg and he'll be out to prove he's 'Must See TV' against a dude who has been a ratings hit longer than Atlanta.
We've saved maybe the best for last. Can Amsterdam end Riga's crazy 25-game winning streak? If they do then it might just give the Dutch Masters confidence to finally break a frustrating title drought in 2022.
But it's going to be extremely tough against red-hot Riga, who showed their fighting spirit and class in the clutch with a tight 21-18 semi-final victory over Amsterdam in Cebu.
Superheroes Karlis Lasmanis and Nauris Miezis never looked better as they combined for 19 points to outduel Dimeo van der Horst and Arvin Slagter, who were spectacular with 16 points.
There's going to be more action than in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in what shapes as another classic in this emerging rivalry.