Lausanne end title drought at FIBA 3x3 Sansar Challenger 2023

ULAANBAATAR (Mongolia) - Lausanne (SUI) snapped a title drought in style after winning the FIBA 3x3 Sansar Challenger 2023

Here's what happened.

The winners: Lausanne (SUI)

They were: No.1  fewest points allowed

It has long been hard to explain how there are seemingly two Lausanne teams. There is the Lausanne that plays spectacularly at home - like they again did during a runners-up run at the recent Lausanne Masters

But they've struggled away from their half-court and this season was no exception with Lausanne having made the semis just once from 10 events. 

The Swiss were determined to prove a point, but things started badly with a tough 21-19 loss to Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy (MGL).

They made it to the knockout stages by edging Zaisan MIGdaatgal (MGL) and then Lausanne sweated out one-point wins over Utsunomiya BREX EXE (JPN) and Sansar MMC Energy (MGL).

Their stingy defense was the catalyst to their march to the final, but the Swiss Masters found their offensive groove to overwhelm San Juan (PUR) and prove to the world they can win anywhere on the planet. 

MVP Westher Molteni was the king in Mongolia with an MVP performance as Lausanne celebrated a long-awaited title.

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The runner's-up: San Juan

The New Gen of Puerto Rican 3x3 have not disappointed with San Juan making the semis in four of seven events in 2023.

A first title of the season eluded them, but San Juan again proved they are an emerging force with a strong run. 

After dispatching a shorthanded Ub Huishan NE (SRB) in their opener, San Juan qualified to Day Two despite a loss to Utsunomiya BREX EXE (JPN). 

 San Juan unleashed their deadly firepower to stun fan favorites Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy (MGL) in the quarters then easily beat Saitama ALPHAS EXE (JPN).

They ran out of gas in the final, but a title doesn't seem far off for these young guns. 

Ridiculous Ralat: Antonio Ralat has already stamped himself as an assassin on the half-court and he further enhanced his growing reputation with another lights out performance. 

He finished No.1 in player value (45.8), scoring (41) and highlights (19) to showcase his superstar credentials. Ralat produced a semi-final masterclass, where he had a triple-five of 11 points, 5 rebounds and 5 highlights. 

The Final: Lausanne 21-San Juan 12

This was a match-up between hot-shooting San Juan and defensive menace Lausanne.

Lausanne's O hadn't set the tournament alight but they started fast with Raphael Wilson and Westher Molteni scoring three apiece to give their team a 6-0 lead.

San Juan needed to wake up and they looked to scoring machine Antonio Ralat to get them going. 

A thunderous two-handed follow-up dunk from Luis Cuascut was spectacular but failed to rattle Lausanne, who had all the answers.

When Gilles Martin and Molteni went bang, bang it was almost a wrap as San Juan's cold streak from the outside continued. 

A two-hand flush from Raphael Wilson got Lausanne within one of the magical 21-point target before their triumph was complete shortly after. 


The reward: Three tickets to the Chengdu Masters

Lausanne, San Juan and Sansar MMC Energy joined Ub Huishan NE, Vienna, Raudondvaris Hoptrans, Beijing, Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy at the Chengdu Masters on October 21-22.

Final Standings:
1. Lausanne (SUI)
2. San Juan (PUR)
3. Sansar MMC Energy (MGL)
4. Saitama ALPHAS EXE (JPN)
5. Omaha (USA)

Top Scorers:
1. Antonio Ralat (San Juan, PUR) 41 pts
2. James Parrott (Omaha, USA) 35 pts
3. Ryuto Yasuoka (Saitama ALPHAS EXE, JPN), 32 pts
4. Adrian Ocasio (San Juan, PUR), 31 pts
5. Wenbo Lu (Beijing, CHN), 29 pts

Key Stats:
- Top seeds Ub Huishan NE (SRB) played with just three players and failed to make it out of Day One after a big loss to San Juan. 
- Beijing's (CHN) Wenbo Lu overshadowed superstar teammate Karlis Lasmanis, highlighted by a 14-point haul against Jeddah (KSA) on Day One. 
- Omaha's James Parrott produced a crazy 16-point outburst in the quarter-finals but it wasn't enough as Sansar MMC Energy prevailed 21-19.