POITIERS (France) - The number 5 team in the world Piran (SLO) won the 1st-ever edition of the 3x3 Poitiers Challenger on July 5-6, 2019.
It was the first time France played host to an event of the FIBA 3x3 pro circuit. Here's what happened:
The winners: Piran (SLO)
No other team is more experienced than Team Piran on the pro circuit. It is the only squad which features 2 players who have played in every edition of the World Tour. In Poitiers, MVP Anze Srebovt and Gasper Ovnik carried the load offensively (31 and 30 points respectively) while Adin Kavgic was the top rebounder at the event. Piran recovered well from their pool loss against Utrecht (20-18). The number 1 seed lived up to the hype and only suffered on Day 2 in the semi-finals against their Slovenian countrymen (15-13). The team finished 1st overall in points and in rebounds.
The runners-up: Lausanne (SUI)
Team Lausanne fell short in the final but were spectacular for 2 days in Poitiers. They won their first 4 games, all of them before the 10-minute limit, including a crazy win at the buzzer against Nantes (FRA) in the quarter-finals.
The team averaged a tournament-high 11 highlights per game: Natan Jurkovitz led all players in dunks, Westher Molteni in blocks. Team Lausanne made a lot of new fans with their exciting style of play in Poitiers.
The final: Piran 21 - Lausanne 11
Gilles Martin scored the first 3 points of the game and Lausanne seemed like they were on pace to win their first-ever Challenger but Piran calmly came back in the game and took a 9-6 lead after 4 minutes. What happened next is the Slovenians started a 9-1 run that stretched the lead to 18-7. Team Lausanne attempted a comeback but finally bowed down 21-11. Gasper Ovnik topped all scorers in the final with 8 points. His teammate Anze Srebovt chipped in 7 points.
The reward: 2 tickets to the Lausanne Masters
In the Olympic capital, Piran and Lausanne join Liman (SRB) and Princeton (USA), who qualified based on ranking.
1. Piran (SLO)
2. Lausanne (SUI)
3. Kranj (SLO)
4. Podgorica Dangerous (MNE)
5. Utrecht (NED)
1. Anze Srebovt (Piran) 31pts
2. Igor Tratnik (Kranj) 30pts
3. Gasper Ovnik (Piran) 30pts
4. Worthy de Jong (Utrecht) 28pts
5. Marko Koljevic (Podgorica) 28pts
Gotta hate when the final is anticlimactic. Piran took care of Lausanne in what was the 3rd fastest game of the tournament.
Westher Molteni had back-to-back triple-fives in the quarter and semi-finals. His teammate Natan Jurkovitz had a potent one in the pools (8 points, 8 highlights and 6 rebounds). Utrecht star Worthy de Jong had probably the line of the weekend with a 15-point explosion, combined with 6 highlights and 5 rebounds.
Jurkovitz had 8 dunks in just five 10-minute games.
Unorthodox stat: Molteni led all players in blocks and key assists.
Next Challenger: Ekaterinburg Challenger (July 9-10)