Heavyweights Amsterdam and Princeton headline FIBA 3x3 Unites Utrecht Challenger

18 Sep 2021

UTRECHT (Netherlands) - Some of the very best 3x3 teams in the world will be competing at the 3x3 Unites Utrecht Challenger on September 19-20., 2021.

It continues a feast of 3x3 action which starts with the Prague Masters on September 18-19 as the FIBA 3x3 World Tour 2021 hits overdrive.

Let's take a look at the important information you need to know ahead of the 3x3 Unites Utrecht Challenger.

Pools

Pool A: Amsterdam Talent & Pro (NED), Utrecht (NED), Qualifying Draw B winner
Bool B: Princeton (USA), Bielefeld TSVE (GER), Podgorica Kodio (MNE)
Pool C: Piran (SLO), Raudondvaris Tauras (LTU), Onil Bit2me (ESP)
Pool D: Lausanne Sport (SUI), Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy (MGL), Qualifying Draw A winner

The Favorites

The No.1 seed deserves top billing and should be inspired to be at their best in front of the home fans.

Amsterdam Talent & Pro broke through for their first ever Masters title with victory in Doha to start 2021 in style. And they proved it wasn't a one-hit wonder with second place in Montreal and a semi-final finish in Debrecen.

This team is loaded with scorers led by the recruit of the season Maksim Kovacevic who rediscovered his best with a lights out performance in Montreal.

Ditto for Arvin Slagter after the Dutchmen had to rely on walking bucket Dimeo van der Horst in Debrecen - luckily he's not just 'Dimes' and can flat out score.

It won't just be a Dutch party in the land of the orange with Princeton (USA) hoping to continue their strong Challenger form having won in Cergy-Pontoise.

And they shrugged off a slow start in Masters this season with a semi-final effort in Montreal before falling just short to eventual champs Ub (SRB). They importantly beat Amsterdam in a day 1 classic although their hero Robbie Hummel misses here.

The Americans have a decent enough replacement, however, with FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2019 champ Canyon Barry - son of NBA great Rick Barry - a star in his own right.

No.3 seed Piran , of course, always deserve respect as the grand masters of the World Tour. But these spectacular Slovenians have not lost a step with Simon Finzgar still punking opponents like he's 21.

And we just have to include Lausanne Sport here with the Swiss always so hyped even though they have yet to win a pro event this season.

They've had a tough time in 2021 but we just know Gilles Martin will do something crazy that will make us jump right back on board.

The Field

As we always know, anything is possible in 3x3 so these dark horses should be taken very seriously.

No.5 seed Ulaanbatar MMC Energy always enjoy a lot of support but haven't been seen much on the pro circuit this season. They will be hoping to get rid of the rust with trademark grit from everyone's favorite underdog.

And we get to again see Dulguun Enkhbat, whose hair is always perfect!

No.8 seed Aachen Der Stamm could well surprise having already done that during an eye-catching run at the Lausanne Masters, where they beat Novi Sad and then fell to new sensation Antwerp in an OT quarter-final classic.

The Germans proved they had offensive firepower as they led the tournament in ppg with 20.3. Expect them to be deadly in the Netherlands... especially if the rumor of a last-minute addition is confirmed...

You want one more potential surprise packet? Then how about Raudondvaris Tauras (LTU) with the Lithuanians stealing the show in Cergy Pontoise to finish second behind Princeton.

And keep your eyes on their main man Paulius Semaska who is a one-man highlight reel and sure to do something crazy in Utrecht.

What's at stake

The top 2 teams in Utrecht will qualify for the Abu Dhabi Masters, October 29-30, 2021 as part of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour 2021.

How to watch

The action starts on September 19 and you can follow it live on the FIBA 3x3 YouTube and Facebook pages.

FIBA