Paris win their first title at FIBA 3x3 Bordeaux Challenger

24 Jul 2023

BORDEAUX (France) - Superstar Franck Seguela was unstoppable as Paris (FRA) flew the French flag to win the FIBA 3x3 Bordeaux Challenger

Here's what happened.

The winners: Paris (FRA)

They were: No.3 points scored, best shooting value and fewest points allowed. 

Paris have been active in 2023, playing eight events before Bordeaux and reaching the semis in four of them. 

But it was time the Frenchmen broke their drought. And where better to do that than on home soil!

Paris were on a mission like Ethan Hunt, but they had a mixed bag on Day One with a first-up win against Riga (LAT) cancelled out by losing to Hangzhou (CHN). 

But Paris weren't to be denied with an easy quarter-final win over Dusseldorf LFDY (GER) before submitting their best one-two punch of the season with victories over star-studded Futian (CHN) and Miami (USA) to finally taste a sweet triumph. 

Paris were led by MVP Seguela, who finished No.1 in scoring with 37 points but he was well supported by hot shooting Alexandre Aygalenq and big fella Leopold Cavaliere.

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The runners-up: Miami (USA)

There has been a lot of understandable hype over newcomers Miami, whose players represent mighty USA and collected the silver medals at the FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2023

But life on the pro circuit isn't easy and the Americans found that out in their first three events, where they were unable to advance past the quarters.

They were out to change that in Bordeaux and Miami almost claimed a first title after cruising to the semis without barely raising a sweat. 

But things got harder in the business end when Miami were pitted against No.1 ranked Ub Huishan NE  (SRB) in a match with more stars than in reviews for Oppenheimer.  

Miami prevailed in a thriller, but their joy was short-lived after falling to Paris in the final as they still seek an elusive title. 

Jimmer Mania: Even though Miami's start to the pro circuit had been patchy, former NBA player Jimmer Fredette had been electric to energize his loyal band of followers.

He had more support in Bordeaux, namely big man Kareem Maddox in a throwback performance, as Fredette went up a level in a lights out display where he finished No.1 in player value (44.8). 

Fredette is getting better and better on the half-court in a scary prospect for opponents. 

The Final: Paris 21-Miami 18

Miami could sniff a W, but Paris stood in their way and their passionate fans made plenty of noise when Alexandre Aygalenq splashed from the Eiffel Tower. 

That would be a common theme throughout another crazy final on the pro circuit as he went bang again before Leopold Cavaliere threw it down in Paris' red-hot start.

Cavaliere once again connected on an alley-oop as it looked like Paris were going to romp away with the title, but Miami were ignited by a two-handed flush from Kareem Maddox. 

Jimmer Fredette had been quiet, but woke up with a two-piece then hit up Maddox for a jam as Miami clawed back.

The Frenchmen had all the answers with Aygalenq hitting a two-piece but Miami wouldn't go away with sharpshooter Dylan Travis going bang, bang.

Aygalenq had seemingly clinched Paris' W with a two-piece only for Maddox to keep Miami alive with a couple of buckets.

But Paris weren't to be denied with MVP Seguela fittingly finishing it off with a tough layup over Maddox to trigger wild celebrations around the half-court. 


The reward: Three tickets to the Cebu Masters

Paris, Miami and Ub Huishan NE joined Vienna and Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy as teams to have qualified for the Cebu Masters on September 23-24.

Final Standings:
1. Paris (FRA)
2. Miami (USA)
3. Ub Huishan NE (SRB)
4. Futian (CHN)
5. Antwerp TOPdesk (BEL)

Top Scorers:
1.  Franck Seguela (Paris, FRA) 37 pts
2. Jimmer Fredette (Miami, USA) 36 pts
3. Dimeo van der Horst (Futian, CHN) 35 pts
4. Kareem Maddox (Miami, USA) 29 pts
5. Nic Celis (Antwerp TOPdesk, BEL) 29 pts

Key Stats:
- No.2 seeds Antwerp TOPdesk (BEL) were knocked out in the quarters, while No.3 Riga failed to make it to Day Two. 
- Futian fell short of qualifying to Cebu, but Dimeo van der Horst gave all he could to finish third in player value (36.4) and he had a whopping triple-five of 17 points, 5 rebounds and 8 highlights against Montreux (SUI). 
- No.1 ranked player Strahinja Stojacic had a triple-five of 8 points, 6 rebounds and 6 highlights in Ub's quarter-final win over Hangzhou (CHN).