All we learned from FIBA 3x3 World Tour Wuxi Masters 2023

WUXI (China) - A new champion was crowned on the FIBA 3x3 World Tour with Paris (FRA) taking out the Wuxi Masters.

Let's recap all the action. 

Paris creates history

France have long been a basketball powerhouse and that has carried over into 3x3, especially for the French women. 

The men have performed extremely well over the years in international competition, but success hadn't quite materialized for French teams on the World Tour. 

Until now. And it's no surprises that Paris are the first French team to claim glory on the World Tour because they have been a threat for some time. 

While they had claimed success on the pro circuit, Paris had struggled on the big stage and only made it past Day One once from five Masters events in 2023.

Critics were lining up, but Paris proved them wrong with an unbeaten run that started with a Franck Seguela Maurice Lacroix Buzzer Beater to down Pirot (SRB).

They squeezed past Saitama ALPHAS EXE (JPN) and Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy (MGL) in the knockouts before playing the game of their life to thump Ub Huishan NE (SRB) in the final. 

Franck Seguela - more on him in a moment - went up a level to dominate the stats and was crowned MVP but he wasn't a one man show. He had plenty of help with electric Paul Djoko, Vincent Fauche and Jules Rambaut all stepping up to lead Paris to their first-ever Masters title. 

You just know it won't be their last. 

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Seguala outpoints Stojacic

Everyone knows how good Franck Seguela is on the half-court. He can do it all as he has proved on the pro circuit many times before. 

The World Tour had been tougher, but Seguela started to perform better although it wasn't matched by team success.

It all changed in Wuxi, where Seguela had plenty of support and it helped him become the best player on the planet - for two days anyway. 

Fittingly, Seguela's fight for the crown had a formidable player in his path - No.1 ranked Strahinja Stojacic who had rediscovered his best in Wuxi. 

The stage was set with these superstars going toe-to-toe but it was Seguela who emerged from the heavyweight battle victorious. The 26-year-old has never played better with a ridiculous 14 points and 5 highlights to completely outplay Stojacic, who finished with just 2 points. 

It proved that Seguela belonged with the very best players on the planet and you feel he's only going to get better.

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A silver lining for Ub Huishan NE

Top-ranked Ub Huishan NE (SRB) have now gone seven Masters without a title ever since their record-breaking start to the season. 

But this was the closest they've been having reached a Masters final for the first time since they won in Prague

There were encouraging signs for Ub, who were without superstar Marko Brankovic. Strahinja Stojacic may have run out of gas in the final, but before that 'Doctor Strange' was back dominating the 3x3 multiverse. 

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Ub's most encouraging performance was big fella Nenad Nerandzic, who was spectacular in his second 3x3 event. The 27-year-old found his rhythm on the half-court to finish third overall with 30 points and he was almost unstoppable inside with 80% from 2. 

They may not have gone all the way, but Ub showed good signs and unearthed a new talent in developments that should scare their opponents. 

Wan Lei causes big upset to win Maurice Lacroix Dunk Contest

It takes something special to beat American dunking daredevils Jordan Sutherland and Brandon 'B-Ruff' Ruffin. 

But Chinese dunker Wan Lei fed off the crowd's support to wow the judges with a series of amazing dunks.

The underdog stunned his fellow dunkers with crazy slams, including an absolutely unreal two-for-one dunk which included a volunteer standing on a table that has to be seen to be believed .

Wan Lei - remember the name!

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Wuxi is another amazing Chinese 3x3 destination 

We've had a nice run of Chinese events in recent times and Wuxi sat handsomely with Chengdu and Shanghai. 

The venue was lit, the fans loud and proud and NBA legend Yao Ming was also in the building!

Wuxi had everything and we can't  wait to be back. 

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