6 Ning Zhang (CHN)
24/06/2024
3x3
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All we learned from FIBA 3x3 Chengdu Masters 2024

CHENGDU (China) - There were insane Maurice Lacroix Buzzer Beaters and crazy upsets at the Chengdu Masters, but top seed Ub Huishan NE (SRB) calmly took care of business to get on the board on the FIBA 3x3 World Tour 2024. 

Let's look back at a memorable fourth stop on this season's World Tour. 

Ub Huishan NE are on the board

It took longer than expected, but Ub Huishan NE are on the board. After being titleless in the opening three Masters, including consecutive quarter-final exits, the Serbs were under pressure. 

There was talk of a power shift as doubt on Ub intensified after they lost to Beijing (CHN) on Day One. Would they be able to recapture the magic or was this slump terminal? 

As they've done many times before, Ub rediscovered their best when it mattered most as they unleashed their brilliant flowing style on Day Two. But it wasn't easy with Ub edging San Juan Church's (PUR) in the quarters before a thrilling OT semi-final W against Princeton (USA). 

Dejan Majstorovic added another Maurice Lacroix Buzzer Beater to his collection with an epic two-pointer to call game, but Ub were again fighting for their lives in the final against a three-player Lausanne. 

The Serbs did enough with MVP Stefan Stojacic in attack mode, while Nemanja Barac did all the little things - made all the more impressive as he played through a leg injury. 

Ub  have rediscovered their mojo and they've sent a statement to the competition. 

Lausanne showed plenty of heart

After coming up short in the final in Ulaanbaatar, the Swiss were even closer on this occasion as they gallantly pushed Ub in an epic final. 

It finished in heartbreak for Lausanne, but they showed so much heart and fight after playing the semis and final without star Carlos Martinez. Westher Molteni relished the extra responsibility and he submitted a tour de force highlighted by a dunking exhibition. 

Malik Hluchoweckyj unleashed plenty of dizzying moves, while Raphael Wilson was a reliable bucket getter as per usual as Lausanne defied the odds. 

Their dreams of winning a first ever World Tour title ultimately fell short, but it is surely just a matter of time before they create history.

Chinese teams steal the show

Where was the biggest party in Chengdu this weekend? It was at Jiaozi Music Square with the passionate fans literally jumping out of their seats as Chinese teams Beijing and Chongming (CHN) stole the show.

Led by last year's tournament MVP Ning Zhang, who played like a human wrecking ball, Beijing went on deep run highlighted by an upset of Ub Huishan NE on Day One before ultimately falling short to Lausanne in the semis.

Perhaps the biggest shock was Chongming's Day One shocker of No.3 seed Partizan (SRB).

The 14th seed were inspired by newcomer Cameron Forte, who dominated the paint as they qualified into the knockouts.

The teams were pitted against each other in an epic quarter-final with Beijing ending Chongming's fairy-tale run. But a new talented Chinese team has emerged.

Partizan haven't got going on the World Tour

Partizan entered red-hot after taking out the Clermont-Ferrand Challenger. But they cooled off quickly after being stunned by Chongming in a result that effectively ended their campaign.

It was a disappointment for Partizan, who were bounced in a winless campaign at the Utsunomiya Opener.

Superstar Stefan Milivojevic had moments where he made the half-court his colosseum, but it wasn't nearly enough as Partizan have to go back to the drawing board.  

Chengdu was amazing yet again

The World Tour 2024 arrived for the first time in China and it was back to familiar surroundings in Chengdu, which has hosted the event numerous times before.

With heaving crowds at the Jiaozi Music Square, with the noise level at the highest possible decibel when the Chinese teams were playing, Chengdu cemented itself as an iconic 3x3 destination.

We will have to wait until next season to return, but the World Tour will be back in China much sooner with the Shanghai Masters in September.

FIBA