Everything you need to know before FIBA 3x3 World Tour Utrecht Masters 2022

UTRECHT (Netherlands) - Recess is over and it's time to get the FIBA 3x3 World Tour 2022 restarted with the first ever stop in the Netherlands as anticipation builds for the Utrecht Masters on September 24-25. 

Let's take a closer look at everything you need to know about this season's seventh Masters, who has the particularity of being organized by an NGO (3x3Unites).

Where can I watch the Utrecht Masters?

The action runs from September 24-25, and you can follow it live on the FIBA 3x3 YouTube, Facebook, Sina  Weibo and Douyin pages.

Who is competing in Utrecht?

Seven of the top 13 teams in the world rankings and a total of 14 squads: Liman Huishan NE, Antwerp, Amsterdam HiPRO, Sakiai Gulbele, Vienna, Belgrade Partizan, Marijampole Mantinga, Paris, Lublin Lotto, Utrecht, IJmuiden, Constanta CSU Neptun, Ventspils, Venice FDC

What are the pools?

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 Who are the favorites?

Will it be sixth time lucky for Liman Huishan NE (SRB)? Or have the Serbs used up all their good fortune during Challengers, where they are literally unbeatable having won 25 straight games!

Seriously, that's not a typo, they've won five straight Challengers but have suffered continual heartbreak in Masters, where they still haven't enjoyed a W this season. 

Without nemesis Ub (SRB) in the draw, the World Tour reigning champs should fancy their chances fuelled by a red hot Miroslav Pasajlic who is in the form of his life


Their favoritism has strengthened with No.2 seed Antwerp (BEL) likely missing star Thibaut Vervoort but the Belgians have that sweet taste of World Tour success after their heroics in Debrecen and you know they'll make a deep run. 

We might as well pencil them in for the semis because Amsterdam HiPRO (NED) have reached the final four in all three Masters they've played this season. But the Dutchmen haven't been able to get any further although perhaps playing in front of a sea of orange will help them end their curse. 

In a loaded field, improved teams Sakiai Gulbele (LTU) and Vienna (AUT) square off in a Pool D blockbuster on Day One. These are two in-form teams with Challenger titles under their belts this season but they want the big prize of a Masters crown. 

Both teams are loaded with firepower and ready to lit a fuse under the futuristic venue of the medieval city of Utrecht.

Who are the best players?

Who you got from Liman? We could name all four of them but let's go with two. Mihailo Vasic has more gold than inside Fort Knox after recent success at the FIBA 3x3 Europe Cup 2022 and he's now ready to once again dominate the World Tour. 

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While Pasajlic is deservedly getting some love, we just can't overlook sniper Stefan Kojic who feels like he's about to explode with one of his trademark heat checks and Aleksandar Ratkov, who collected Challenger MVP awards like Panini cards.

With Vervoort aka 'Must See TV' on pause right now (unless he's added last minute to the roster at the technical meeting on Friday night), sidekick Nick Celis gets his chance for some more screen time and he sure can play the lead role when required. And it won't be all on his shoulders with young gun Caspar Augustijnen capable of taking over with his Inspector Gadget arms seemingly able to dunk from all angles. 

Amsterdam are one of the favorites and with good reason because walking buckets Dimeo van der Horst and Arvin Slagter made it rain at Europe Cup 2022 to be the joint top scorers and lead the Netherlands to a bronze medal. 

If their double act continues then Utrecht might be host to the biggest party in the Netherlands. 

Talk about duos then we just have to mention Sakiai's Aurelijus Pukelis and Marijus Uzupis, who have combined for nearly 12ppg on this season's World Tour. 

They might have to even surpass that high average to get past Vienna and their one-two punch of Stefan Stojacic and Filip Kramer. If Stojacic's crafty moves and long-range bombs don't get you then Kramer's explosiveness will probably prove the knockout blow.

The talent is deep in Utrecht with Ivan Popovic and Marko Stevanovic powering Belgrade's rise, while Evaldas Dziaugys might just be 25 but he's already a certified bucket for Marijampole Mantinga (LTU).

It's great to see fresh faces on the World Tour and we've got a couple of excitement machines set to take Utrecht by storm.

Jump on the bandwagon because it's going to get full once Paris' (FRA) Paul Djoko starts embarrassing defenders with his sick handles and insane vertical. 

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While you might have watched Worthy de Jong do his thing at FIBA EuroBasket 2022, this Dutchman feels right at home on the half-court where he's more than worthy. 

He might just inspire hometown heroes Utrecht on a giant-killing run. 


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