BUCHAREST(Romania) - Unstoppable NY Harlem(USA) won their fourth Challenger of the season after taking out the Bucharest Challenger on August 10-11, 2019.
Here’s what happened.
The winners: NY Harlem (USA)
NY Harlem are the hottest team on the 3x3 circuit after a stunning win streak. The New Yorkers won their third consecutive challenger - and fourth of the season in Bucharest.
They beat Doha and Prague Masters champs Riga Ghetto (LAT) in the quarter-finals – continuing their dominance over the Latvians – and defeated compatriots Princeton (USA) in the semi-finals.
NY Harlem dominated Edmonton (CAN) twice in Bucharest, including a 21-12 victory in the final.
NY Harlem were led by Dominique Jones aka 'Disco Domo' who has taken his game to another level since leading USA to gold at the Pan-American Games. Jones took his dancing shoes to Romania where he dropped 44 points to collect another MVP award.
Jones proved his love for the big stage with a jaw-dropping 12 points, including five splashes from deep, to power NY Harlem to an easy win in the final.
Number 1 in points per game, two points made and two-point %
Led by Jones, NY Harlem overwhelmed their opponents with scoring punch and won under the time limit in every game.
Jones was the main focal point but Antoinne Morgano also proved to be a potent threat with 25 points to be the 10th leading scorer overall.
The runners-up: Edmonton (CAN)
No.5 seeds Edmonton continue to prove they are an emerging force after another strong performance.
They had perhaps a bit of a favorable draw by not facing a higher seed other than NY Harlem but Edmonton are stamping themselves as one of the most competitive teams on the circuit.
One-two punch: Edmonton relied on the one-two punch of big man Kyle Landry and sharpshooter Steve Sir as they combined for 59 points. Jermaine Bucknor, however, struggled to be a factor with just 13 points overall and looked well short of the force who has single-handedly won games at Masters this season.
The Final: NY Harlem 21-Edmonton 12
For Edmonton to end NY Harlem's momentum, they needed to stop Jones. But that's almost impossible right now and Jones was on a mission to win another title.
He started with the splash from deep and Morgano did likewise as NY Harlem raced out to an early lead. Edmonton looked inside to the reliable Landry for buckets and attempted to claw back into the contest.
But this was Disco Domo's show and he pulled out all the tricks. He hit a two-piece in Landry's face and then fooled Bucknor with an insane dribble between the legs leading to a bucket.
Jones continued to have Landry on an island and hit him with the stepback two as NY Harlem could taste victory leading 15-5. Sir finally started screaming 'Yessir' with a trio of two pieces but it was too late.
Jones had one last stepback splash and a David Seagers' floater finished the deal well under the time limit as NY Harlem celebrated another Challenger title.
The reward: Two tickets to the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Debrecen Masters
NY Harlem and Edmonton will join No.2 Riga Ghetto, No.3 Liman (SRB) and exciting young teams Gagarin (RUS) and Lausanne (SUI) on August 27-28 in the seventh stop on this season’s FIBA 3x3 World Tour.
1. NY Harlem (USA)
2. Edmonton (CAN)
3. Split Statist (CRO)
4. Princeton (USA)
5. San Juan (PUR)
1. Dominique Jones (NY Harlem, USA) 44 pts
2. Kyle Landry (Edmonton, CAN) 30 pts
- Edgar Krumins (Riga Ghetto, LAT) 30 pts
4. Steve Sir (Edmonton, CAN) 29 pts
- Tjader Javier Fernandez Garcia (San Juan, PUR) 29 pts
- The top two ranked teams in the world Novi Sad (SRB) and Riga Ghetto did not make it through to the semi-finals.
- The fastest game in the tournament was NY Harlem’s beat down of Edmonton in the final (7’09” of playing time).
- No.2 seeds Riga Ghetto clearly missed Nauris Miezis aka ‘Robin’ and his superhero partner Karlis Lasmanis aka 'Flight KLM' was unable to take off with a subpar campaign. But sharpshooter Edgar Kumins was a standout with a tournament high 10 points per game.
- Dominque Jones continued to prove why he is one of the best 3x3 players out there with a dominant tournament. He led the overall scoring with 44 points, highlights (16) and two-point makes (shooting at 50%).
Next Challenger: Ljubljana Challenger (August 17-18)