SHANGHAI (China) - Vienna's explosive play at the FIBA 3x3 Shanghai Masters 2023 on October 14 showcased their poise and championship ambitions. Now, let's dive into the opening day of the World Tour's 12th Masters event, China's first Masters hosting this year.
Vienna dominated Pool A, securing two wins in nerve-racking fashion to advance to the Quarter-Finals on Day Two. Their journey wasn't smooth sailing. They had to defeat World Tour debutantes Omaha in a tight opener, 17-13, fueled by Enis Murati's 5 points. Their second game against Utrecht had its share of tense moments, but Vienna's Matthias Linortner and Quincy Diggs combined for 14 points to secure a hard-fought 20-16 triumph.
Day One delivered an electrifying spectacle with a series of gravity-defying dunks, showcasing the incredible athleticism of both James Parrott from Omaha and Zhu Yuanbo from Beijing. These rim-rockers left the audience in awe, setting the tone for an unforgettable event.
Parrott, in particular, flew high. He had no qualms showcasing his athleticism with not one but two alley-opp slam dunks against top-seeded Vienna.
Not to be outdone, big man Zhu put down the hammer in a pivotal play against Futian. That proved to be a turning point as Beijing outscored their foes, 17-7, to grab victory from the jaws of defeat.
We also cannot go without crediting Antananarivo big man Alpha Solondrainy, who elevated and detonated the rim with this hammer against Futian.
Utrecht's Bryan Anton Alberts turned some heads as he dropped Quincy Diggs on the floor with a slick ankle-breaker.
Of course, we cannot forget Nauris Miezis's huge Maurice Lacroix buzzer-beating two-pointer that enabled Beijing to rally from 4-12 down to beat Futian and top Pool C! These players embodied pure basketball artistry in action!
Omaha's James Parrot was more than a high-flying dunker on Day One. He saved his best for their last game of the day, leading Omaha to the Quarter-Finals thanks to a huge defensive stop and a game-winning lay-up. We could be seeing a rising 3x3 star here in Shanghai. Check out both of his big plays here:
Antananarivo have arrived at the World Tour! They gave fan-favorites Beijing all they could handle in their first game before running out of fuel in the end, 17-21. However, Antananarivo were not to be denied in their second game as they outlasted Futian, 21-18, to book a spot in the Quarter-Finals. That's definitely not a bad way to announce yourselves in Shanghai.
CHEMISTRY IS KING
Team chemistry is such an important facet of 3x3, and that was shown early and often on Day One. Partizan, in particular, was quite effective with their ball movement. Check it out here as their sublime movement and passing end up with an explosive slam dunk from Marko Stevanovic.
Vienna (AUT) vs Antananarivo (MAD)
Liman (SRB) vs Partizan (SRB)
Beijing (CHN) vs Omaha (USA)
Ulaanbaatar (MGL) vs Wuxi (CHN)
*Elly Randriamampionona's 11 points was the high of the day. He strung up 6 one-pointers, 1 two-pointer, and 3 free-throws in Antananarivo's big win over Futian.
*Wuxi's Stefan Stojacic was a playmaking machine on Day One. He tallied the most key assists with 8 over his first two games as he also finished second in Highlights with 11. He also had a rare triple-five (6 points, 9 rebounds, 5 highlights) against Saitama ALPHAS EXE.
*Zhu Yuanbo and Beijing look like dark horses to finish on top after finishing undefeated on Day One. Zhu also leads the field in rebounding (14) and sits third overall in points (18).