All we learned from regular season of FIBA 3x3 World Tour 2023

28 Nov 2023

JEDDAH (Saudi Arabia) - The regular season is over for the FIBA 3x3 World Tour 2023 and we're just catching our breath.

Before the season-ending Jeddah Final let's recap the main talking points on the World Tour.

Ub Huishan NE set the standard

Whatever happens, this season's World Tour might just be remembered for Ub's historic run in sweeping the first six Masters of the season. No team had ever won that many titles in a row as Ub took 3x3 to another level.

The half-court game might never have looked so beautiful with Ub probably cementing themselves as the GOAT team!

They worked perfectly together with Strahinja Stojacic the team's superstar, Marko Brankovic the Swiss army knife, Dejan Majstorovic the heart and soul and Nemanja Barac the defensive ace.

It was never going to last forever and we've seen Ub hit speed bumps since, but we'll never forget this absolutely ridiculous three-month stretch when Ub were unbeatable on the World Tour.

It's 'Doctor Strange's' multiverse

Strahinja Stojacic has been the best player over the last couple of seasons. But the world's best player has elevated his game to a level maybe never before seen.

His sustained greatness has meant that we've had to start those GOAT debates between Stojacic and Dusan Bulut. 'Doctor Strange' leads almost all the major stats categories. It's too long to list so check it out here if you don't believe us.

But even those stats don't quite do him justice because Stojacic is a walking winner. And he wants it more than anyone else as underlined by playing 60 games on this season's World Tour - 7 more than next best Dejan Majstorovic.

If he leads Ub to a title defense at the World Tour Final then Strahinja Stojacic would have completed the greatest individual season in World Tour history.

The Field caught up to Ub

It did seem like Ub were going to roll through the competition. But the field woke up and we've never seen such a long line of title contenders.

Every event brimmed with talented teams capable of going all the way as highlighted with 11 teams winning Masters titles in 2023.

We've seen traditional heavyweights such as Ub, Liman and Riga remain forces, but they've had to deal with a slew of rising teams desperate to make an impact.

Teams such as Partizan, Vienna and Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy went up a level, while much-hyped Miami and Beijing didn't disappoint.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by FIBA3x3 (@fiba3x3)

New glamor teams such as young guns San Juan packed a punch to ensure the state of the World Tour has never been healthier.

De Jong was in a season-long heat check

The most spectacular individual season of all-time? It just has to be Worthy de Jong, who was on a heater all season in a scoring explosion never before seen on the World Tour.

He averaged a filthy 9.3 ppg - which would be impressive over just one event but the Amsterdam HiPRO star did it over 39 games! He also threw down 27 dunks to cement his status as 3x3's most entertaining player.

The Dutch hoops legend wasn't just flash with de Jong continually pushing his body to the edge in a bid to get a dub for his team.

His toil was finally rewarded when Amsterdam went all the way at the last stop in Hong Kong with - you guessed it - de Jong walking off with a deserved MVP.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by FIBA3x3 (@fiba3x3)

'Jimmer Mania' sweeps into the World Tour

No one has had more eyeballs on them. But that did not rattle Jimmer Fredette, who after all has long been used to the attention as one of the most hyped college players of all time and he also played in the NBA for many years.

Fredette brought the shooter's touch to the half-court and 'Jimmer Mania' followed him with plenty of his famous jerseys spotted in the bleachers. He was unconscious throughout with Fredette shooting a crazy 45% from deep.

It was the second highest percentage behind only teammate Canyon Barry except Fredette attempted around 100 shots more!

In one season he's basically become the Steph Curry of the half-court, but more importantly Fredette has inspired new team Miami into being one of the very best teams in the business.

Mongolia and France's World Tour droughts broken

Out of all the memorable things that happened on the World Tour this season, for pure emotion it's hard to go past Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy and Paris ending long droughts for their proud 3x3 countries.

Mongolia is a force having won multiple Asia Cups, but no team from the East Asia country had ever gone all the way on the World Tour. Their best team Ulaanbaatar had long threatened and looked the goods in 2023.

Still they kept falling short until it all clicked into place in Shanghai. There wasn't a dry eye from those watching Ulaanbaatar's players celebrate with gusto and the joys were matched by jubilation back home.

Similarly, France have been a pioneer of men's and women's 3x3 but World Tour success had eluded their teams.

Paris represented their best hope and after some growing pains they blew away the competition in Wuxi on the back of an MVP performance from superstar Franck Seguela.

After all these years, France and Mongolia now have championship winning teams and you just know it will inspire the next gen from these mighty countries.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by FIBA3x3 (@fiba3x3)

Chinese teams pack a punch

Entering 2023, teams from China promised big things. All eyes were focused on Beijing, who recruited Latvian superheroes Karlis Lasmanis and Nauris Miezis, and Futian who added superstars Dimeo van der Horst and Thibaut Vervoort.

They didn't disappoint with Beijing a constant contender, while Futian made the final in Manila. But neither of these teams were able to create history and become China's first title-winning team on the World Tour.

That honor went to Hangzhou, who produced a giant-killing run to win the title in Constanta against all the odds. Vladimir Trajkovic announced himself with the MVP in a show-stopping performance and Hangzhou are set to be a force in the years to come.

Wuxi, led by 3x3 unicorn Jiaren Zhao, also showed impressive signs as China made a statement on the World Tour.

FIBA