"This was my first tournament in the FIBA 3x3 competition at this level. I was delighted by the level and organization; I hope to play more and more after these tournaments. We will fight and do our best to win the whole thing, this is why we came here," said Pasajlic.
3x3 is still new for the Serbian. He began playing with Ub two years ago but has been a professional basketball player since 2012, playing across Europe. He and his teammates have been friends for a long time, making the transition easier.
"Brankovic, Strahinja (Stojacic), and all the guys met each other since a young age, they all are friends, also off the court. That’s how I got involved in the team, that’s why it’s easy for us to play together, we are friends, we trust each other, we don’t argue, we hang out also outside the court."
In their only World Tour event of the season, their rise to the top of the field in Debrecen was impressive. The team averaged 21 points over five games and defeated fellow countrymen, Novi Sad in the semi-final.
"I was very happy, we didn’t expect to win that game because Novi Sad is one of the most experienced teams in the Tour. It was the first time we played with this roster so I don’t know if we win because of lucky or individual talent."
Pasajlic drilled a step-back, in your face two-pointer to win the game, over Mr. Bulletproof himself, Dusan Bulut.
"The step-back is one of my favorite moves, on the left or on the right, I like it."
While the moment was epic on its own, doing it in front of Bulut was even more special.
"When I started with 3x3, Bulut was the first person I heard of because he’s the face of the game. I was motivated I always wanted to play against him. Playing against him in the semifinals of the Hungary Masters was a motivation because we always wanted to beat Novi Sad. I could say that, until yesterday, I was watching him on TV, that motivated me even more."
With teams like Novi Sad and Ub on the World Tour, fans back home in Serbia have been spoiled with 3x3 greatness. Pasajlic can see the sports growing for both young people and experienced basketball fans.
"Lately 3x3 is growing and growing, we have more people playing and wanting to play, we have new courts with similar floors to the 3x3 official courts. Not only young people want to play, but even older people also want to play 3x3 instead of basketball."
The Doha Masters will take place on November 20-21 and will be streamed on the FIBA 3x3 YouTube channel.