Top seed San Juan Church's aim for confidence boost at FIBA 3x3 Hongcheon Challenger 2024

HONGCHEON (South Korea) - No.1 seed San Juan Church's (PUR) will be eyeing a confidence boosting title in the first FIBA 3x3 Challenger event of 2024 in Hongcheon on May 11-12. 

A loaded field of 16 teams will be looking for an early season statement and fighting for prized tickets to the Chengdu Masters, the fourth stop on this year's FIBA 3x3 World Tour.

Let's preview the action as the Challengers start in style.

The Favorites

San Juan Church's have top billing for a reason. They have an explosive team of young stars, who lit up the World Tour last season.

But it's been a tough start to 2024 with San Juan losing in the quarters at the Utsunomiya Opener, while three of their four players were part of Puerto Rico's unsuccessful quest at the FIBA 3x3 Universality Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2 2024

Puerto Rico will have one last chance at a ticket to Paris at the upcoming FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Debrecen. Before then they need a spark and a W at Hongcheon fits the bill, with San Juan's chances looking bright if sniper Antonio Ralat takes over in the clutch. 

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San Juan will have plenty of challengers and they face an early test against Zavkhan Sainscore (MGL), who already have a title under their belt this year after taking out the FIBA 3x3 Ulaanbaatar Super Quest 2024

Bail Jung will be looking to continue his MVP form in a tournament filled with bucket getters. None better than scoring machine Henry Caruso, who again leads iconic American team Princeton (USA). 

 

No.3 seed Beijing just have to be rated among the contenders because they have Yuanbo Zhu (CHN), who loves nothing more than driving to the rack and dunking on hapless defenders. 

The Field

There is a lot of excitement for talented Germans Dusseldorf LFDY (GER) after their breakout in 2023. Niklas Kropp cemented himself as one of 3x3's most unique players and the unicorn is ready to enter superstardom on the half-court. 

Utsunomiya BREX EXE (JPN) and Utrecht (NED) are also more than capable of going all the way because they have show-stopping players ready to electrify.

You know who we're talking about - that's right it's speedy Japanese Yosuke Saito and Dutch high-flyer Nesta Agasi.  

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We all know the 3x3 pedigree in Latvia and Adazi (LAT) are ready to make their mark, a feat that is entirely within their grasp because we have seen Arturs Strelnieks light up the half-court before. 

Sagamihara Enndaruma (JPN) and Yesan Hanwool (KOR) will be aiming for giant-killing runs, while there are six teams in the qualifying draw battling it out for two places in the main draw. 

Pools

Pool A: San Juan Church’s (PUR), Zavkhan Sainscore (MGL), Sagamihara Enndaruma (JPN)
Pool B: Princeton (USA), Adazi (LAT), Yesan Hanwool (KOR)
Pool C: Beijing (CHN), Utrecht (NED), QD
Pool D: Dusseldorf LFDY (GER), Utsunomiya BREX EXE (JPN), QD

What's at stake

The top 3 teams in Hongcheon will qualify for the Chengdu Masters on June 22-23, 2024, as part of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour.

How to watch

The two-day extravaganza is on May 11-12 and you can follow it live on the FIBA 3x3 YouTube  pages.

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