RIYADH (Saudi Arabia) - Riga (LAT) have now won 25 games in a row on the pro circuit after taking home the first edition of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Riyadh Masters on November 11-12, 2022.
After a slow start this season, Riga (LAT) have triumphed in their last 3 Masters (Montreal, Cebu and Riyadh), a Challenger and a Super Quest in the last 2 months.
The Riyadh Masters were not a walk in the park for the 4 Latvians, who won gold with the exact same roster at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics last year. Their narrow 20-18 win against Omaha 3Ball (USA) in the semi-finals was a sign of things to come. Facing the number one 3x3 team in the world Ub Huishan NE (SRB) in the final, Riga were down 18-17 with a minute to go.
Their star player Nauris Miezis then rose to the occasion with a first two-pointer to take the lead and a second for the win with the game tied at 19, a Maurice Lacroix buzzer beater all the way from the Enlio logo, far beyond the arc. In fact, Miezis scored his team's last 7 points and recorded a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double, a rare statistical performance in the first-to-21, 10-minute game. The number 11 player in the world led his team in player value and was named MVP of the Riyadh Masters.
Four-time World Champion Dejan Majstorovic scored a team-high 6 points for Ub in the final. His teammate - number one 3x3 player in the world Strahinja Stojacic - was held to just 5 points. He still led all players both in points and player value in Saudi Arabia.
With their success, Riga have now clinched their spot in the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Final, which will take place in Abu Dhabi on December 10-11. A total of 6 teams have mathematically earned their ticket to the United Arab Emirates: Ub Huishan NE (SRB), Liman Huishan NE (SRB), Antwerp (BEL), Riga (LAT), Amsterdam HiPRO (NED) and Vienna (AUT). The last 6 tickets will be decided during the last Masters of the season, which will be held in the Hong Kong on November 26-27.
In the individual contests, Belgian sniper Thibaut Vervoort dominated the Chooks to Go Shoot-out Contest, while US pro dunker Chris Staples won the Visit Saudi Dunk Contest.
1. Riga (LAT)
2. Ub Huishan NE (SRB)
3. Omaha 3Ball (USA)
4. Vienna (AUT)
5. Antwerp (BEL)
6. Jeddah (KSA)
7. Doha QSC (QAT)
8. Utrecht (NED)
9. St. Louis Ballislife (USA)
10. Cebu Chooks (PHI)
11. Lusail DAS (QAT)
12. Changhua (TPE)
13. Okayama TryHoop (JPN)
14. Riyadh (KSA)
Exciting, urban and innovative, 3x3 is inspired by several forms of streetball played worldwide and is considered the world’s number one urban team sport. Steered by FIBA, games see two teams of three players face off on a basketball half-court.
It was played successfully for the first time in international competition at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore and since then has benefited from the launch of a yearly professional circuit for men and women (World Tour and Women’s Series respectively) and national-team competitions.
3x3 made its Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Wilson is the Global Ball Partner. Wilson is also the Apparel Partner, Maurice Lacroix the Official Timekeeper and Chooks-to-Go the Global Partner of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour 2022.
FIBA 3x3 events are played on Enlio floors with Wilson balls, Schelde backstops, Bodet shot-clocks and the Magic Sky canopy system.
For further information about 3x3, visit fiba3x3.basketball, FIBA 3x3 accounts on Douyin, Facebook, Instagram, Sina Weibo, Tencent, TikTok, Twitch, Twitter, Youku and YouTube or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.