DOHA (Qatar) – There is plenty at stake at the upcoming Doha Masters with two tickets still up for grabs for the spectacular FIBA 3x3 World Tour Final in Jeddah next month.
This year has obviously been a logistical nightmare due to Covid-19 but, fortunately, this season's World Tour has been partly salvaged and the showpiece finale will at least ensure 2020 ends on a high.
To ensure there is no confusion, here is everything you need to know about qualifying for the World Tour's biggest prize.
Who's already qualified?
The top 10 teams in the World Tour standings have already qualified for the 12-team Jeddah spectacle. Liman (SRB), Riga (LAT), Novi Sad (SRB), NY Harlem (USA), Piran (SLO), Sakiai Gulbele (LTU), Lausanne Katapult (SUI), Ub (SRB), Utena Uniclub (LTU) and Jeddah (KSA) can breathe easy.
But Liman, Riga, NY Harlem, Lausanne, UB, Utena and Jeddah will want to ensure they hit Saudi Arabia confident with a strong showing in Doha.
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How nervous are Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy and Amsterdam?
Very. The Mongolians are ranked 11th on the standings, while the Dutchmen are one place lower so they are clinging to tickets to Jeddah.
They have 53 and 50 points respectively but are not playing in Doha and can be leapfrogged if World Tour debutants - for this season - make the semis.
Ulaanbaatar and Amsterdam have for some time been highly competitive teams on the World Tour and boast some of 3x3's most recognizable players but their fate is out of their hands. They will nervously have to hope they don't get overtaken.
It is going to be an agonizing two days for them.
What has to happen for teams to overtake them?
Princeton (USA), Manila Chooks TM (PHI), Kamakura NatureMade (JPN), Riyadh (KSA), Bielefeld LFDY (GER), Lusail (QAT) and Yoyogi Crayon.EXE (JPN) can dare to dream about Jeddah.
But it's not going to be easy. They have to make at least the semis to have a chance to qualify. The winner in Doha will receive 100 points, 2nd place (80), 3rd (70) and 4th (60) – enough to overtake Ulaanbaatar and Amsterdam.
If three or four new teams reach the semis then the two-best ranked in Doha make it to Saudi Arabia. Princeton, last year's World Tour Final runners-up, will be confident of making the final four and, if this happens, Amsterdam would be knocked out.
But Ulaanbaatar shouldn't be content. 3x3 is made for underdogs and any one of these other teams can have a magical run in Qatar. The Filipinos, with stars Joshua Munzon and Alvin Pasaol having turned Doha into Manila last year, could well fancy their chances of a semi-final finish.
This is fascinating. Where and when do I watch all this drama?
You can watch live on the official FIBA 3x3 Channel on YouTube. The Doha Masters begins on Friday and finishes on Saturday, November 21. More information on the World Tour website.