DEBRECEN (FIBA 3x3 World Tour) - Belgrade (SRB) and Zaporizhzhya (UKR) won the qualifying draw and earned their ticket to the main draw of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Debrecen Masters on August 30 2017.
Six teams featured in the first-ever qualifying draw in World Tour history, an innovative way to increase access to the World Tour to more teams and organizers and enhance the World Tour experience on 3 days of competition.
It wasn't a walk in the park for last year's Debrecen Masters semi-finalists, Belgrade. The number seven 3x3 team in the world started with a nail-biter against London (GBR) 19-18 and clinched their spot in the main draw by edging out Vevey (SUI) 18-14.
Sharpshooter Ivan Popovic was key for the Serbians. The 25-year-old topped all scorers at the qualifying draw with 21 points, including 7 bombs from behind the arc.
In the other pool, Zaporizhzhya dominated local heroes Debrecen (HUN) 21-15 before winning a roller-coaster of a game against Aachen (GER) 18-16.
The sniper Maxym Vorobiov (16 pts, 5 two-pointers) led the team in scoring.
Belgrade will be seeded in Pool C in Debrecen with Serbian countrymen Liman and Amsterdam PM Inox. This means 3 teams in the world's Top 12 will go toe-to-toe in the pool phase (Liman and Amsterdam are ranked 6th and 12th respectively).
Zaporizhzhya aren't exactly in a better situation in Pool D with Kranj (SLO) and Riga (LAT), who are 8th and 9th in the world respectively.