LJUBLJANA (2015 FIBA 3x3 World Tour) - Former number one 3x3 player in the world Blaz 'Birdman' Cresnar will join forces with former team-mates Jasmin Hercegovac and Ales Kunc to try to win the FIBA 3x3 World Tour, the flagship FIBA 3x3 event which they had won together (with Rok Smaka) in Istanbul, Turkey in 2013.
Following a difficult 2014 season in which they did not even make it to the World Tour Final, Team Ljubljana had split up with sharp-shooter Hercegovac and big man Kunc pairing with the versatile Tomo Cajic and the towering Birdman and Smaka starting a new squad under the name "Team Maribor". While Maribor failed to qualify to the World Tour so far, Ljubljana clinched a ticket to both the Manila and Beijing Masters.
While Team Ljubljana did well, team captain Kunc said he was still looking to upgrade the team:
"Igor Tratnik was key to make it to the Manila Masters but then was unavailable. Zeljko Palavra really helped us qualify to Manila and Beijing and it was one of the hardest decisions I had to make."
"We are so thankful and still count on him but Blaz will bring even more to the team.
"He can guard anyone, he can shoot, rebound, block shots." - Ales Kunc about Birdman
"We want him because he is a universal player. Plus we know each other very well so we know what he needs and wants and same for him."
Birdman had big hopes with his new team but admitted not playing the World Tour this season was not an option:
"I rejoined my old team because they qualified for two Masters already and we all think that together we can do something big."
"We can win the World Tour again. That's the goal." - Birdman
"I'm sad we could not qualify with Team Maribor because we had a good team and wish them all the best in the future.
"I'm very happy to be at the World Tour again and I can show I belong here and prove I'm one of the best 3x3 players in the World."
One of the most iconic 3x3 players make his return to the FIBA 3x3 World Tour, some good news for Filipino and Chinese fans who can expect a lot of big blocks and monster dunks from the 2.17m giant.