Top seeds Ub and Riga face dangerous opponents on day one of FIBA 3x3 Riyadh Masters 2022
In the second last stop before the showpiece Abu Dhabi Final next month, there is much anticipation over the 10th Masters of the season which is the fourth straight year that the FIBA 3x3 World Tour returns to Saudi Arabia.
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And the big guns will be aiming to make a statement with No.1 seed Ub Huishan NE (SRB) hoping to regroup having slipped up in their last two Masters after incredibly winning the first four of the season.
The Serbs have not tasted success since August but they've brought back their A-Team led by No.1 ranked player Strahinja Stojacic.
They will need to bring their A-Game because Ub face a tricky prospect against Cebu Chooks (PHI), whose talisman Mac Tallo can win games almost single-handedly with his deep bag of tricks.
Doha QSC (QAT) can't be discounted on making it out of Pool A having emerged from qualifying at the Cebu Masters.
Red-hot Riga (LAT) are in a purple patch having won 20 straight games, including four titles, since the return of superstar Karlis Lasmanis. They have never looked better which is pretty incredible considering these four dudes are Olympic gold medalists.
But their winning streak could be under threat against newcomers Utrecht (NED), who have lit up 3x3 highlighted by a runner-up finish at the Paris Masters.
Excitement machine Worthy de Jong has been must watch and we just can't wait to see the clutch Dutch go toe-to-toe with Lasmanis in this Pool B blockbuster.
Underdog Lusail Das (QAT) will be looking to make it much more than a two-horse race in the group.
After three straight runner-up finishes on the pro circuit, Antwerp (BEL) are determined to go one better and add to their historic triumph at the Debrecen Masters.
The No.3 seed should arrive confident with Thibaut Vervoort aka 'Must See TV' finding a new partner-in-crime with the emergence of recruit Dennis Donkor, who is a two-way monster.
They face an early test against Omaha 3BALL (USA), who are led by scoring machine Dylan Travis fresh off winning gold at the FIBA 3x3 AmeriCup 2022.
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There will be an All-American battle in Pool C when Omaha meet new kids on the block St Louis Ballislife (USA).
Last but certainly not least, No.4 seed Vienna (AUT) will be looking to go back to back on the World Tour after their emotional breakthrough in Paris.
Still pumped up over his MVP in Paris, 3x3 legend Stefan Stojacic is ready to write a new chapter in his remarkable comeback journey, while walking bucket Quincy Diggs has proven he is hard to guard driving to the rim.
They face local favorite Jeddah (KSA), who have had a tough 2022 but have started to play better recently, while the third team in Pool D will come from qualifying.