What we learnt from the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Doha Masters 2020
24 Nov 2020
DOHA (Qatar) – It was another successful FIBA 3x3 World Tour event this weekend, as many of the world's best came to Doha with aspirations of entering the winner’s circle and raising the big check. The two-day event didn’t disappoint as Riga prevailed over Liman in the final, thanks to a Tissot Buzzer Beater by Karlis Lasmanis. In the final event of the World Tour 2020 regular season, we take a closer look at what we learned during this most recent Masters.
It’s a Riga and Liman's world and the rest of us are just living in it.
After four World Tour events, both Riga (LAT) and Liman (SRB) have each won two titles, cementing themselves at the top of the class for the 2020 World Tour season. They enter the World Tour Final (Dec 18-19 in Jeddah) as the top two teams, each with 320 points earned. Statistically, the two teams have combined to have 7 of the top 8 scorers, and make up the top 7 in P-VAL. It’s only fitting that the two sides could once again be on a collision course to face one another at the Jeddah final to establish the true kings of the 3x3 World Tour 2020.
Utena Uniclub has joined the elite of the 3x3 World Tour.
With Novi Sad (SRB) absent from the Doha Masters, Utena Uniclub (LTU) once again showed why they are a force to be reckoned with, earning a 3rd place finish, defeating NY Harlem (USA), Lausanne (SUI), and Lusail (QAT) on the way. Zygimantas Skucas, was sensational for the Lithuanians, finishing second in points per game and first in P-VALPG. It was a coming-out party for the man they call 'the Lithuanian Rodman' who is part of a team that nobody wants to face at the Jeddah Final.
We know about Batman and Robin. It’s time we give Krumins his due.
Karlis Lasmanis and Nauris Miezis rightfully receive most of the praise for the dominant Riga (LAT) team. Both players are former #1 players in the world, and each has won an MVP award on the World Tour this season. But, beyond the two stars, it’s Edgars Krumins who has been the unsung hero for the club. Krumins, who has played in all 17 of Riga’s games, leads the World Tour in total points scored (101) and is fifth in P-VAL (80.1). The sharpshooter is tied with Stojacic for the most 2-pointers made (31), stretching the floor and knocking down buckets throughout the game. It’s time for us to give the man his due.
After winning the 2020 Chooks to go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup, Joshua Munzon entered his second career Masters in career-best form. The fan favorite Manila Chooks TM (PHI) did not make it to the bracket stage but the number one man in the Philippines did not disappoint. Munzon led all players in points per game and put on a one-man show against Liman, with four 2-pointers made and three key assists. He may not have taken his team to the top of the World Tour just yet, but the human highlight reel is going to make noise for years to come.
New York Harlem (USA), led by ‘Disco Domo’ Jones, had high hopes of being one of the top teams in Doha. At the Hungary and Europe Masters, the Americans placed fourth in each event, gaining momentum as the season progressed. Unfortunately, the Doha Masters would not be kind to the team, finishing 12th. Coming into the event, Harlem only fielded three players, compared to the usual four, because of injury. That total went down to the two players when Marcel Esonwune went down as well early in the contest vs. Lausanne Katapult. It was a tough go for the team who will enter the Jeddah Final as the number three ranked team.