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4 Michael Hicks (POL)
25/03/2020
3x3
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The Top 10 3x3 games of all time

MIES (Switzerland) – Things are tough worldwide right now but let's try to provide some desperately needed cheer.

 
Let's look back and remember the top 10 3x3 games of all time - an almost impossible task and one that will provoke even more debate than who won the Super Bowl half-time show – J-Lo or Shakira.

Our criteria included memorable finishes, spectacular high-scoring games. high stakes and many more.

10. Nantes-NY Harlem (WT Lausanne 2019 QF) 

This was the game NY Harlem announced themselves as a 3x3 powerhouse and their superstar Dominique Jones aka Disco Domo cemented himself as the MVP of the World Tour 2019 regular season.

Domo had struggled all game but  his confidence was intact. After Nantes missed two free throws to ice the game, the 5ft 10in (1.78m) dragster was colder than the Swiss Alps after hitting an absolutely insane contested shot to send the game into overtime.

Shoutout to Kyle who perfectly captures what we were all thinking: "WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT!"

But this epic wasn't done with yet. Kidani Brutus hit the second Tissot buzzer beater of the game and NY Harlem eventually won their first World Tour title.

 

9. Australia-New Zealand women (Asia Cup 2018 Semi-Final)

Neighbors Australia and New Zealand have a fierce rivalry in sports – traditionally in rugby and cricket. However 3x3 has now entered the list after intense battles between the women's team and none was better than the memorable semi-final at the Asia Cup in 2018.

Hot favorites Australia led by brilliant duo Bec Cole and Maddie Garrick were in command but New Zealand somehow forced overtime. The atmosphere in Shenzhen was wilder than Chinese New Year and the noise could be heard in nearby Hong Kong when Micaela Cocks sunk a two-piece to down the defending champs.

 

8. Serbia-Poland (Bronze Medal Game World Cup 2019)

Poland's Olympic dream essentially rested on winning the World Cup bronze medal game against 3x3's gold standard – Serbia.

Luckily they had 'Money in the Bank' – Michael Hicks, who finished with a jaw-dropping 13 points and 8 rebounds, including proving he was all cash with an unbelievable game-winner from behind the arc.

It was the type of ridiculous move – a pump fake to get the defender off balance – that would have made Kobe proud (RIP, Mamba).

For Hicks, it was sweet revenge after having lost several heartbreaking games to Serbia over the years.

 

7. Mongolia-Australia (Asia Cup 2018 Final)

Perhaps more than any other country, far flung Mongolia represent 3x3’s global reach. The East Asian nation with a population of just three million have consistently been near the top of the 3x3 rankings for both men's and women's.

They showed their renowned fight against Australia to push the Asia Cup 2018 final into overtime and had two chances to produce to retain their continental title before their dreams ended when Thomas Garlepp drained a massive two-piece.

 

6. France-USA (U18 World Cup 2015 QF)

This one is an outlier – no game-winner or Kyle's smooth talking voice on commentary – but this game was spectacular dotted by rim-shaking alley-oop dunks and amazing plays.

The talent was off the charts with Zach Collins and PJ Washington showing why they would become NBA players, while the USA also had Payton Pritchard who is an NBA prospect.

Despite that firepower, the USA lost a thriller 20-18 against a French team highlighted by Killian Tillie, who is another prodigy possibly headed to the NBA.


5. Hungary-Spain women (World Cup 2019 QF)

Hungary memorably knocked out previously unbeaten Spain in a match that underlined how 3x3 can flip in an instant. A cold blooded Sandra Ygueravide gave Spain a pulse with a Tissot buzzer beater to send the game to overtime but this game had more twists than Inception.

After Aitana Cuevas missed the bunny, Dora Medgyessy immediately made her pay from behind the arc and sent Hungary to the next round on their way to a sensational silver-medal finish.

 

4. Liman-Novi Sad (WT Debrecen 2017 SF)

These two powerful Serbian teams from the same city have been 3x3 trendsetters and always bring it when playing each other. Perhaps their greatest battle was at the World Tour in Debrecen when almost perfect 3x3 was played. Flawless passing. Incredible execution. Elite shot making.

And remember Stefan Stojacic aka Mr Robot? Unfortunately he was missing for most of 2019 but this dude is one of the best in the business and never better than in Debrecen.

He led Liman to an upset over the 3x3 kings and provided the dime to Aleksandar Ratkov, who somehow hit the impossible circus shot to win the game.

Which led to another memorable Kyle moment: "OH MY GOODNESS!".

Three years later and we're still not sure how that went in.

3. Brazil-Italy (U18 World Cup 2016 SF)

This was the biggest comeback since Nas dissed Jay-Z. Italy were making Astana their personal swimming pool with star Flavio Gay splashing from deep to take a commanding 18-10 lead.

Italian players were already celebrating and you couldn't blame them. It was over, right? Wrong. Brazil out of nowhere caught fire but still trailed 20-19 with 3 seconds left before Fabricio Verissimo stole Gay's cookies and was fouled.

The tournament MVP calmly drained the free throws to complete the greatest heist since De Niro and his crew's bank robbery in Heat.

 

2. Zemun-Novi Sad (WT Final 2017 Final)

We've shown you some crazy game winners but nothing tops this. The World Tour Final in 2017 came down to this and who better than Bogdan Dragovic aka 'The Dragon' who breathed a fireball from beyond the logo to win the title.

It was Zemun's finest moment and their only Masters title to date. It might also be Kyle's greatest call - listening to his excitement and bewilderment will give you goosebumps.

Novi Sad might have been absolutely stunned but it made them stronger. They came back vengeful like Arnie in Commando to dominate the 2018 World Tour with an unreal 32-0 season.

 

1. Serbia-USA (World Cup 2016 Final)

The gold standard of 3x3. If you are hesitant about 3x3, watch this epic and you will be hooked for life.

The USA was loaded with future NBA players Myke Henry and Alfonzo McKinnie, who played for the juggernaut Golden State Warriors in 2018-19. The game was highlighted by McKinnie's nasty one-handed punch that almost broke the rim.

But the USA’s talent did not intimidate Serbia, who relied on their 3x3 IQ and chemistry. Dusan Bulut aka 'Mr Bullutpoof' and Dejan Majstorovic had defenders in a spin to overcome the USA's athleticism advantage.

Fittingly, Mr Bullutproof sealed the title with a sick step back in Henry's face that was all net to put the exclamation point on the most beautiful game played in 3x3 history.

 

FIBA