UTSUNOMIYA (Japan) - Riga Ghetto (LAT), Princeton (USA) and Sakiai Gulbele (LTU) were the only undefeated teams on Day 1 at the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Utsunomiya Final 2019 on November 2.
The Latvians proved why they are the #1 team in the world right now with two impressive wins over Edmonton (21-18) and Amsterdam (21-13) in another MVP performance from Nauris Miezis, with 15 points and 6 key assists. Arturs Strelnieks contributed a team-high 16 points. In a win-or-go-home game, Amsterdam (NED) knocked out Nanjing Masters winners Edmonton (CAN) in a 21-19 last-minute thriller.
Kareem Maddox led all scorers with 19 points and Princeton ruled Pool B while 3-time World Tour winners Novi Sad (SRB) had a forgettable day. After a tough 19-10 loss against Princeton, the Serbian powerhouse were pushed to overtime against countrymen Zemun in a rematch of the championship game of the Beijing Final 2017. Novi Sad finally won (19-17) but were at the mercy of a Zemun win vs. Princeton and a 3-way tie since they were limited to 10 points in their first game. Zemun led the majority of the game but cracked in money time (16-20).
Montreal Masters winners Sakiai Gulbelé were the third undefeated team after pool play. The Lithuanians caught fire and started the day defeating Lausanne Masters winners NY Harlem (21-17) thanks to Aurelijus Pukelis, who dominated inside the arc with 8 points and 8 rebounds. Then, Sakiai Gulbelè took care of Jeddah (KSA) 21-15. Montreal Masters MVP Marijus Uzupis scored a game-high 10 points in an impressive performance. NY Harlem (USA) advanced to the quarter-finals after their win over Jeddah (KSA) in the last game of the day.
Last, but not least, Pool C saw Debrecen Masters winners Liman (SRB) and Piran (SLO) advancing to the quarter-finals thanks to their victories over Lausanne TNV (SUI) . Piran took first place after beating Liman in overtime.
Riga Ghetto (LAT) vs Liman (SRB)
Sakiai Gulbelè (LTU)vs Novi Sad (SRB)
Princeton (USA) vs NY Harlem (USA)
Piran (SLO) vs Amsterdam (NED)