CHENGDU (FIBA 3x3 World Tour) - Team Riga Ghetto (LAT) are still looking for their first Masters win. In a favorable Pool B and without the undefeated Novi Sad Al Wahda (SRB) in sight, the number 4 team in the world finally seems in a position to open the books at the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Chengdu Masters on September 29-30, 2018.
No team has won more Challengers than the Latvians in the last 2 years. Riga Ghetto won 8 of these international World Tour qualifiers since the summer of 2017. However the team has yet to win their first World Tour Masters.
Riga came extremely close to beating the number one team in the world in the semi-finals of the Hyderabad Masters and confirmed their fine form that saw them finish 2nd at the Debrecen Masters as well.
The Baltic team will start in Pool B against 2 teams ranked outside the Top 30 with North Jakarta Pertamina (INA) and the World Tour rookies of The Hague (NED), who earned a surprising 2nd place at the Hang Zhou Challenger.
Like it is the case in all FIBA 3x3 competitions, the seeding is conducted automatically according to the 3x3 Individual World ranking (of the three best players from each team). According to FIBA regulations, teams are seeded as follows:
The number 1 seed in Chengdu will be Liman Tesla Voda (SRB), who lost their sharpshooter Stefan Kojic due to a back injury. The Utsunomiya Masters winners were seeded in Pool A with 2 Chinese teams, Beijing West WXFahui and Dongan.
Saskatoon (CAN) will be the team to watch in Pool C as the 2014 World Tour runner-ups are trying to secure their ticket for the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Bloomage Beijing Final. Tachikawa (JPN) and Wukesong (CHN) will be their first 2 hurdles to clear.
Last but not least, Pool D will be the only pool with 2 Top 20 teams, with Ulaanbaatar (MGL), who have yet to find their mojo this season and Moscow Inanomo (RUS). Team Chongqing (CHN) will join the party.
You can follow the livestream Saturday and Sunday on FIBA 3x3's official YouTube channel.