8 Westher Molteni (SUI), 5 Carlos Martinez (SUI), 2 Malik Hluchoweckyj (SUI)
25/06/2024
3x3
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Can Lausanne overcome heartbreak and win a FIBA 3x3 World Tour title?

CHENGDU (China) - During an incredibly brave effort against top seed Ub Huishan NE (SRB) in an unforgettable  3x3 World Tour Chengdu  final, it appeared that Lausanne (SUI) was going to end their drought on the World Tour in the most amazing fashion.

With star Carlos Martinez unable to play after the quarters, Lausanne played without a sub but kept fighting to push Ub to the limit before falling short in dramatic fashion. 

 

It was their second straight heartbreak in the final having lost to Amsterdam (NED) at the World Tour Ulaanbaatar

Lausanne have been on the World Tour for some time and always hugely popular for their entertaining style of play. They've made the leap this season and entered the top tier of teams. 

But will these consecutive defeats break them? Or will the agony motivate them further in Lausanne's bid to finally claim glory on the World Tour? 

Let's take a deep dive. 

Lausanne are a more consistent team

For some time, Lausanne felt trick or treat. You didn't know what to expect.  They could be absolutely brilliant - usually at their home World Tour- but the Swiss just didn't have the consistency. 

Things have changed and the turnaround perhaps started last season with the addition of French star Raphael Wilson, who has brought composure to the team. 

Lausanne are even more dangerous this season after recruiting American excitement machine Malik Hluchoweckyj.

It's a well-rounded line-up that can compete with the very best teams in the world as Lausanne have shown over the last two World Tours. 

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Molteni is in beast mode

Westher Molteni was for some time the barometer for Lausanne. 'King Wes' could own the crown, but consistency was sometimes an issue. 

Not anymore with Molteni in beast right now and he produced a tour de force to be a standout player in Chengdu. Molteni is unleashing monster slams, something he has always been able to do, but his energy and passion is inspiring his team. 

He left it all on the half-court in Chengdu with an enduring memory being when Molteni slumped to the ground in exhaustion after Lausanne's victory over Beijing in the semis. 

But Molteni still had some gas left for the final to underline Lausanne's fighting spirit.

It was all heart and if Molteni can continue playing like that then he will likely be headed for the crowning moment of his career and a first World Tour title. 

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Depth of talent

Lausanne have built a strong squad, which also includes magician Gilles Martin and sharpshooter Marco Lehmann.

They've got all bases covered with Hluchoweckyj and Martin the excitement machines, Wilson and Lehmann the bucket getters and Molteni and Martinez the big fellas who dominate the paint. 

Any combination of players is highly dangerous and what has been pleasing for Lausanne is that Hluchoweckyj has already developed chemistry with his teammates. 

He's particularly developed a menacing one-two with Molteni, with the duo looking like they were born to play with one another. 

Lausanne will only get better as they string together more games.   

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Hluchoweckyj is not the finished product 

As the above Instagram post shows, Hluchoweckyj can drop insane bombs from deep. But the two-ball is still a bit of an inconsistent part of his game with Hluchoweckyj shooting 27% from deep in Chengdu. 

That was a major improvement after he was 0 of 15 in Ulaanbaatar, with Hluchoweckyj still prone to be hot or cold. Maybe he's destined to always be a streaky shooter, but if he can be more reliable from deep then Hluchoweckyj will be totally unstoppable. 

And teams might just be powerless to stop Lausanne. 

 

So will Lausanne finally break their curse? 

Of course, we can't read the future. And the World Tour is so loaded that nothing is guaranteed. 

But Lausanne have everything in place to continue to be a major contender at every event they play.

Their experiences in Ulaanbaatar and Chengdu should motivate them further and if they keep playing with passion then luck might just go their way next time around.  

We can't wait to see what happens in Edmonton.

 

FIBA