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Everything you need to know before the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Doha Masters 2020
After a break of more than two months, here's a refresher of the important information every 3x3 fan needs to know.
Where can I watch the Doha Masters?
Make sure you are following us on Twitter and Instagram for live updates in addition to Facebook and YouTube where we will be broadcasting live on both channels. We're also on TV all around the world. Check out our list of broadcasters.
Who is competing in Doha?
A total of 14 teams: Liman, Riga, NY Harlem, Princeton, Ub, Lausanne Katapult, Jeddah, Manila Chooks TM, Kamakura NatureMade, Riyadh, Bielefeld LFDY, Lusail, Yoyogi Crayon.EXE, Utena Uniclub
Note: following the success of the first 3 Masters in Debrecen, Hungary, all the health and safety measures requested by local and national authorities and the Guidelines for the Return to Basketball, developed by the FIBA Medical Advisory Group (MAG) will once again be implemented.
What are the pools?
Who are the favorites?
No.1 seed Liman deserve first mention having won two of the three masters in Hungary earlier this year but there are many contenders in the loaded field featuring four of the top five ranked teams in the world.
It shapes as a rematch between the two top seeds but there are many other contenders, including a slew of World Tour 2020 debutants determined to do well in a desperate bid to qualify for next month's showpiece in Saudi Arabia.
Last year's World Tour Final runners-up Princeton, most notably, could well challenge for the title if they can shake off rust and also fill the sizeable hole of superstar Robbie Hummel.
In the latest episode of the "Ten-Minute Sprint" live show, Kyle Montgomery picked Riga to beat Liman in the final (21-17) while Corey Campbell had NY Harlem edge out Liman (21-20) on a Tissot Buzzer Beater.
Who are the players to watch?
There will be more stars in Doha than on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Nine of the world's top 18 players will be in action, including four of the top six.
The highest ranked player is world No.2 Nauris Miezis from Riga who only narrowly shades his superhero teammate Karlis Lasmanis - last year's MVP in Doha.
Liman are obviously laced with talent and led by No.3 ranked Stefan Kojic who seemingly never misses a shot. After a lengthy injury layoff, Stefan Stojacic doesn't have the ranking points but is arguably the best player in the world on his day as testament by his brilliant MVP return at the Debrecen Masters.
NY Harlem's Dominique Jones aka Disco Domo just squeezes into the top 10 of the rankings but he might be No.1 for entertainment and a lock to figure in the top 5 plays of the tournament.
There are a number of emerging stars who should be closely watched. Utena Uniclub's Ignas Vaitkus leads the World Tour in player value, while Manila Chooks TM star Joshua Munzon is fresh off a spectacular Filipino 3x3 League where he was a human flame thrower.
Who can still make it to the World Tour Final?
The Doha Masters are key to determine who will get a chance to play at the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Jeddah Final on December 19-20. So far, ten teams have already stamped their ticket to Saudi Arabia: Liman (SRB), Riga (LAT), Novi Sad (SRB), NY Harlem (USA), Piran (SLO), Sakiai Gulbele (LTU), Lausanne Katapult (SUI), Ub (SRB), Utena Uniclub (LTU) and Jeddah (KSA).
A total of 14 squads will play in Doha: seven of them have already qualified for the Final, the other 7 make their World Tour 2020 debut this week. To get a chance to make it to the Final, it's quite simple: they have to reach the semi-finals. If one of them makes it, Amsterdam (NED, currently 12th in the World Tour standings) will miss the final. If two of them do, Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy (MGL, currently 11th) will also miss the flight to Jeddah.