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Moscow Silver Linings
NOVI SAD (Dusan Bulut's 3x3 Thrill) - Zdravo everyone, I have been pretty busy lately qualifying for the (2014 FIBA 3x3) World Tour, organising my first 3x3 event in my native Novi Sad and, yes, representing Serbia at the FIBA 3x3 World Championships.
A week ago I finally rewatched the final on YouTube. It was the first time I had the courage. It was a bad game for us. We missed shots that we made in previous games and we had trouble defending and rebounding because the Qatari players were physical and dominant. They're a good team. Boney Watson is a hell of a player. They did what they're best at - they scored a lot of easy shots on second chances and they let us shoot and we didn't score.
After the game of course we were all disappointed (to lose our title), but when we got that medal and saw everyone on the podium, we realised that we were once again one of the top three teams in the world. It's still a big performance considering there were far more attractive teams in Moscow compared to Athens two years ago.
I really enjoyed the four days and keep great memories of these World Championships. We finally managed to beat our Slovenian rivals who beat us in the final of the World Tour and the (FIBA 3x3) All Stars last year under the name of Team Brezovica. They didn't play well in Moscow but it was important to show we could beat them easily.
We won against the US again who by the way had a really good team that knew how to play 3x3. Our victory against Romania was our best mental game and after winning in overtime I knew we would win a medal. The semi-final against Russia was good because the crowd was loud and I like to play against the home team.
Like I said, the level of competition cannot be compared to Athens. This time all the players came to win. I saw it with Japan and China. The fact that Qatar won the whole thing shows the game has become global. Speaking of Qatar, our loss gives me great motivation to qualify for the All Stars again in December and beat them on their home-court!
There were some great players in Moscow and Julien (FIBA 3x3 Communications Manager) insisted I picked three with whom I'd love to play. I told him I wouldn't change any of my team-mates.
But ok, hypothetically I would start with Duje Kaliterna (Croatia). He is a great guy, has range and nobody had answers for his post moves. I would have to go with Birdman (Blaz Cresnar, Slovenia). With his skills and his size, he can do everything. Finally, the Tunisian guy (Firas Lahyani) caught my eye. I was watching and he made that dunk against USA and it was amazing.
The return home was good but I am not going to lie: it was nothing like two years ago when it was a crazy seven days. I was reading a newspaper that said "Shock: Serbia loses in the final"... That said, people still understand what it takes to reach a final and a lot honk at me or stop me on the street and say "good job".
The good thing is I am number one 3x3 player in the world again. It was a dream come true when I became number one the first time last year. My thinking now is I want to win every game and every tournament. That’s my motivation and only this way I can keep this rank longer than I did last year.
Dusan Domovic Bulut
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