4 Marko Stevanovic (SRB), 3 Andreja Milutinovic (SRB), 2 Mihailo Vasic (SRB), 1 Stefan Kojic (SRB)
22/06/2024
3x3
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Defending champs Liman shine on Day One of FIBA 3x3 Chengdu 2024

CHENGDU (China) - There were crazy upsets and spectacular finishes on Day One of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Chengdu as Liman (SRB) started their title defense in style. 

Let's recap Day One of the fourth World Tour of the season as we returned to a fan-favorite destination. 

DEFENDING CHAMPS MAKE STATEMENT

While compatriots Ub Huishan NE (SRB) and Partizan (SRB) endued struggles, Liman successfully returned to a happy hunting ground. 

The Serbs were fired up with their players particularly animated and energetic. Superstar Mihailo Vasic was inspirational and he led Liman past Lausanne (SUI) with a game-high 7 points. 

Liman made it two from two when they knocked out Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy (MGL) in the final game of the day in an ominous warning to the competition. 

RIFFA RULES

After a winless campaign in Marseille, Riffa (BRN) were determined to put on a better showing and they did exactly that with an unbeaten Day One.

But it wasn't easy with No.2 seed Riffa having to claw past Princeton (USA) and Wuxi WenLv (CHN) in tough Pool B games.

They relied on star duo Dennis Donkor and Jonas Foerts, who lifted in the clutch and ensured Riffa marched into Day Two. 

BEIJING BRING THE HOUSE DOWN

Fuelled by a passionate crowd, with one particularly vocal fan leading the rally cry, Beijing (CHN) were inspired from the get go and gave No.1 seed Ub Hushian NE all they could handle.

It was bucket for bucket before Beijing pulled away with the fans going wild when Wenbo Lu threw down a monster dunk.

It was bedlam when superstar Ning Zhang ended the game in style with a brilliant crossover to shake off Marko Brankovic and finish with the game-winning layup. He had a game-high 12 points, while insanely talented Jiaren Zhao poured in 8 points.

Beijing's momentum couldn't carry over in the night session when they fell to Adazi (LAT), but they did enough to qualify. 

THE UPSET

As the 14th seed, Chongming (CHN) were major underdogs but they weren't just willing to make up the numbers.

With home support on their side, Chongming were inspired against No.3 seed Partizan and brilliantly led by Cameron Forte who was unstoppable in the paint to finish with 9 points and 11 rebounds.

ZhiChao Xiang calmly sealed Chongming's upset at the free throw line to trigger jubilation at the Jiaozi Music Square.

It just wasn't Partizan's game with superstar Stefan Milivojevic narrowly missing a thunderous dunk as they ultimately failed to make it through to Day Two. 

RIDICULOUS RALAT

Antonio Ralat has ice in his veins. You knew that already, but Ralat again proved that he thrives under pressure. 

San Juan Church's (PUR) were under the pump to progress after an opening loss to Partizan and they faced an amped up Chongming still riding high from their earlier upset. 

The Puerto Ricans needed to win and they held the edge until Chongming rode the support of their fans to launch a stirring fightback.

It went down to the wire, but there were no nerves from Ralat who hit the Maurice Lacroix Buzzer Beater from deep to lift San Juan into Day Two. 

SHARPSHOOTERS

Raphael Wilson (Lausanne), Dejan Majstorovic (Ub Huishan NE), Damon Huffman (Princeton) and Otgonjargal Tsgot (Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy)  advanced to the final of Sunday's Shootout Contest. All four shooters made six buckets to reach the final.

QUARTER-FINALS

Ub Huishan NE vs. San Juan Church's
Liman vs. Princeton
Riffa vs. Lausanne 
Chongming vs. Beijing 

DAY 2

The action in Chengdu wraps up tomorrow as we find out who leaves China with the title. Tune in to the LIVE coverage of the finals!

FIBA