LAUSANNE (Switzerland) - With Olympic fever in the air, quite fittingly the FIBA 3x3 World Tour returned with a bang during an unforgettable Lausanne Masters on August 20-21.
There were upsets galore, insane Tissot Buzzer Beaters, dizzying moves and instant classic games as 3x3 lit up Lausanne - the Olympic capital.
With this season's World Tour back in gear after the Tokyo Games, let's look back at what we learned from the second Masters of 2021.
Puerto Rican 3x3 is back!
San Juan will always be part of 3x3's history books having won the first ever World Tour Final in 2012 in Miami.
But the Puerto Ricans were subsequently overtaken, especially by Europeans, and fell off the 3x3 map.
San Juan's last appearance on the World Tour was a lowly 11th placed finish at the Montreal Masters 2019 - their only sighting that year.
But as we well know, 3x3 is totally unpredictable and San Juan defied the odds in Lausanne to go all the way as the 12th seed.
Legendary Puerto Rican 3x3 player Gilberto Clavell rewound the clock with an inspired performance, where he topped the scoring charts with 40 points - including 12 in the final against Ub,
And he formed a devastating one-two punch with MVP Angel Matias, who was a miracle worker in Lausanne with three Tissot Buzzer Beaters. It completed a giant-killing run where they also beat Riga - who were stacked with Olympic Gold medalists - and world No.1 Liman.
Puerto Ricans bring so much flair to the court and San Juan's celebrations were memorable too.
Dejan Majstorovic aka the 'Maestro' is one of 3x3's best ever players having been a key part of powerhouse Novi Sad's line-up over the years. He moved to rival Ub after a disappointing shortened season last year.
The move didn't return dividends immediately with the 'Maestro' struggling at the Doha Masters with just 12 points in 3 games.
There were fears his best was behind him but the 'Maestro' answered the critics at the Tokyo Games, where he helped Serbia win a Bronze medal.
And he continued his revival with a starring role in Lausanne to lead Ub to the final, where they fell short against San Juan.
The 'Maestro' had his best Masters in two years and finished with 32 points from 5 games and No.1 in player value (33.3).
There is clearly plenty left in the tank for one of 3x3's greats.
The World Tour is no longer just dominated by a handful of teams. We keep seeing the emergence of new talented teams and in Lausanne it was German team's Aachen Der Stamm's turn to stand up.
Having gone through qualification, their impressive quarter-final run included a thrilling victory over 3x3 power Novi Sad - who were shorthanded without Dusan Bulut - and they only narrowly lost to NY Harlem in the pools and Antwerp in the quarters.
The Germans played a free-flowing style and led the scoring charts with 20.3 ppg with 23-year rising star Kostja Mushidi the standout.
Remember the name because Aachen Der Stamm have arrived.
Thibaut Vervoort aka 'Must Watch TV' is living up to his nickname (though we're still looking for a new one) - which just has to be one of the very best in 3x3.
He has taken to 3x3 like a duck to water and in just six months is now one of the very best in the business. Vervoort was the breakout star of the Tokyo Games, where he nailed a trio of Buzzer Beaters to lead underdog Belgium to fourth place.
In Lausanne, the 23-year-old led rising power Antwerp to the semis with 28 points from 4 games. He was the overall leader in highlights and key assists as he keeps getting better and better in a scary sign for opponents.
You just can't switch the channel when Vervoort is lighting up your screen.