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CBF 3x3 Tour finals - Prague
FIBA U19M/3x3 - Different forms of basketball take centre stage in Prague

PRAGUE (FIBA U19 World Championship/3x3) - Basketball is in full effect in Prague this weekend.

The FIBA U19 World Championship is reaching its climax inside the O2 Arena with the Final set for Sunday evening.

Meanwhile, outside the venue, 3x3 is all the rage.

Friday saw the fifth and final stop of the 3x3 Czech quest. The best teams from that event qualified to Saturday's 3x3 Czech quest final.

Saturday's winning teams will qualify for the Final of the FIBA Europe 3x3 EuroTour in Budapest and for the 3x3 World Tour Masters in Prague next month.

Michal Konecny, the Secretary General of the Czech Basketball Federation (CBF) oversaw the 3x3 extravaganza and talked about what made the event - and the discipline - so special.

"We have players from the best division in the Czech league. And we have three wheelchair teams," he said.

"To have this tournament here helped advance and grow the game in the country.

"We have 65 private organisers of 3x3 or streetball. Our tour is the biggest in the Czech Republic. But it's open for everyone, not only just for special players," Konecny pointed out.

If the places at the EuroTour final in Budapest and for a chance to qualify for the 3x3 World Tour Final aren't good enough, there are other prizes at stake too.

"There is of course prize money and we have packages for the winners to go see some games at the EuroBasket (in Slovenia)," said Konecny.

The CBF Secretary General explained what it meant to have such a concentration of high level basketball in one area.

"It's great for people of basketball. All the (3x3) players want to see the FIBA U19 World Championship. And it's good advertising for the tour and 3x3 basketball."

While some players - including at the FIBA U19 World Championship - have managed to juggle both kinds of basketball, 5on5 and 3x3, Konecny believes that there's an opportunity to be had here.

"(3x3) is a different kind of basketball," he said.

"I think the future of 3x3 is kind of like beach volleyball. There will be some specialists in 3x3 basketball."


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