Where will your favorite 3x3 World Tour team play in 2022?
MIES (Switzerland) – Every year the top 8 teams in the world get automatic tickets to the FIBA 3x3 World Tour. Similar to a draft, they get a chance to select the (early season) Masters where they want to play. Here are the results:
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These spectacular Serbs will have good vibes when they land in Debrecen - the site of their breakthrough Masters triumph last year.
After the heartbreak of losing in the final in Lausanne to San Juan, Ub were on a mission like Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible 7 as they powered through undefeated and survived a thriller in the final with a 21-19 victory over powerhouse Riga.
Speedy Miroslav Pasajlic will be hoping to replicate his MVP performance as Ub eye back-to-back titles in Debrecen.
Liman have happy hunting grounds in Utsunomiya and Debrecen. In the historical Japanese city, Liman won in 2018 after beating Team Amsterdam in the final. Although their MVP back then Stefan Stojacic is no longer with the team.
But they really shine in Debrecen where they started their long reign near the top of 3x3 in 2017, after beating Ljubljana to claim their first Masters. Arguably their greatest triumph was in 2019 when they beat Riga in a heart-stopping 21-18 victory in the final with just three players.
Sniper Stefan Kojic was injured in the semis but still won the MVP at a site he always seems to get the shooter's roll.
With four triumphs in as many years, there's little wonder why Liman can't wait to get back to their favored Debrecen.
When they arrive in Japan for the season opener in Utsunomiya, Riga should feel golden. After all, it's the country they memorably became 3x3's first men's Olympic gold medalists although they are hoping to end a rather lean run at the Utsunomiya Masters.
While they've also never won in Montreal, Riga tasted success in Prague in 2019 after thrashing Princeton 21-12 in a lopsided final.
The Belgian sensations have yet to play at these events as they strive to win a first Masters title. But they will enjoy being back in Japan having sensationally finished fourth at the Tokyo Olympics after being the last men's team to qualify for the 2020 Games.
The Dutch Masters reached the final of Utsunomiya in 2018 only to fall short against Liman in the final and be denied a first ever Masters title. They also reached the semi-finals at the Utsunomiya Final 2019 while surely have fond memories of Japan with the Netherlands having played at the Tokyo Olympics. Amsterdam star Dimeo van der Horst has shined in the Philippines before. He won a silver medal at the FIBA 3x3 World Cup back in 2018. Something to keep in mind before he flies to Cebu.
Having made a leap in 2021, Amsterdam will be confident of claiming more silverware.
Sakiai lit up the World Tour and announced themselves in style at the Montreal Masters in 2019. Having stunned Novi Sad in the semi-finals, the Lithuanians silenced the home crowd with an upset victory over Edmonton in the final.
Marijus Uzupis brought out the deadliest uzis since Schwarzenegger in The Terminator to win MVP. The lethal Lithuanians have never recaptured those heights but will be hoping a return to Drake's Land might provide them a spark.
Jeddah made the leap in 2021 with a memorable first triumph in Prague and will be hoping to continue the momentum with maiden victories in Utsunomiya and Lausanne. Jeddah's Lithuanian one-two punch Ovidijus Varanauskas and Darius Tarvydas will finally get a chance to play together again in the Olympic capital, where they won as Team Vilnius (LTU) 7 years ago.
San Juan produced one of the biggest upsets in 3x3 history when they stormed to the title at the Lausanne Masters 2021. The 12th seed went all the way after a giant killing run culminated in a shock win over Ub in an insane final.
It was their first Masters victory on the World Tour since the competition's debut season in 2012 and put Puerto Rico back on the 3x3 map while fueling a remarkable revival for them in a comeback season.
As they arrive in the Olympic capital to defend their crown, San Juan will have an extra swagger in their step.