7 Aurelijus Pukelis (LTU)
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Top seed Raudondvaris Hoptrans enter FIBA 3x3 Zhijiang Challenger 2024 in high spirits

ZHIJIANG (China) - After the lethal Lithuanians clinched an Olympic ticket to Paris, top seed Raudondvaris Hoptrans (LTU) loom as the team to beat at the FIBA 3x3 Zhijiang Challenger 2024 on May 25-26. 

Let's preview the second Challenger of the year. 

The Favorites

Raudondvaris will boast a trio of Lithuanian legends, who helped steer their country into the Paris Games after grabbing a ticket in Debrecen.

Bucket getter Aurelijus Pukelis was predictably their hero as he splashed all over the half-court and he will arrive in Zhijiang with plenty of swagger.

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Raudondvaris appear a formidable force, but there are a couple of other contenders with plenty to prove.

No.2 Lausanne (SUI) were winless at the Utsunomiya Opener, but have a big addition in American entertainer Malik Hluchoweckyj, who is a showman on the half-court. 

No.3 Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy (MGL) will boast dudes who will be hoping to erase the pain of 3x3 crazy Mongolia agonizingly missing out on the Paris Olympics. 

Big fella Delgernyam Davaasambuu did all he could, but you just know he'll be a man on a mission in Zhijiang. 

The field is deep, but we're going to include in-form Zavkhan Sainscore (MGL), who have already tasted success this year after claiming the FIBA 3x3 Ulaanbaatar Super Quest 2024

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Bucket getters Tserenbaatar Enkhtaivan and Bail Jung have proven to be an unstoppable one-two punch as they hunt a second title in as many months. 

The Field

There are plenty of teams with genuine aspirations of going all the way. No.4 seed Beijing (CHN) will have huge support from their passionate fans, who will go crazy when Peng Yan goes on a heater. 

Always dangerous Dusseldorf LFDY (GER) have shown glimpses of strong form in the early stages of the season.

The Germans are a threat because they boast Niklas Kropp, who is something like a real life Inspector Gadget on the half-court. He recently just had his 26th birthday and he wants to celebrate in style. 


Utsunomiya BREX EXE (JPN) can score buckets quickly because they have speedy Yosuke Saito, who can blow by taller opponents at will.

They aren't the only Japanese team capable of a deep run with Saitama ALPHAS EXE (JPN) led by legendary Tomoya Ochiai, who is something of a hype man for his team.  

And we just can't ignore Sansar (MGL) because Enkhbaatar Onolbaatar can hit buckets from anywhere on the half-court. 


Pool A: Raudondvaris Hoptrans (LTU), Saitama ALPHAS EXE (JPN),  Wuxi WenLv (CHN)
Pool B: Lausanne (SUI), Sansar (MGL), Zavkhan SAINSCORE (MGL)
Pool C: Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy (MGL), Utsunomiya BREX EXE (JPN),  Shinagawa CC EXE (JPN)
Pool D: Beijing (CHN), Dusseldorf LFDY (GER), QD

What's at stake

The top 3 teams in Zhijiang will qualify for the Edmonton Masters on July 6-7, 2024, as part of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour.

How to watch

The two-day extravaganza is on May 25-26 and you can follow it live on the FIBA 3x3 YouTube and Facebook pages