Everything we learned from FIBA 3x3 World Tour Montreal Masters 2022

5 Sep 2022

MONTREAL (Canada) - This spectacular FIBA 3x3 World Tour season had another fascinating twist after a reunited Riga (LAT) won their first title of 2022 with a statement victory at the Montreal Masters on September 3-4.

Let's debrief on the sixth Masters of the season, which detoured to North America.

Be afraid, a reloaded Riga are back!

What's that noise you hear? That's just opponents shaking in their boots because a full-strength Riga are back and their four Tokyo Olympic gold medalists started with a W.

Without World Tour 2021 MVP Karlis Lasmanis, Riga had been competitive due to the brilliance of their other superhero Nauris Miezis but were overtaken by rivals, especially all-conquering Ub (SRB).

There was no rust in Montreal as Riga played with the type of chemistry that saw them become 3x3's power beyond Serbia.

Riga didn't have it easy and needed a special performance from Lasmanis, who posted an insane 13 points, to down Princeton (USA) in a quarter-final thriller and they needed all their tricks to inch past Sakiai Gulbele (LTU) in an all-Baltic final.

Fully reloaded, Riga have regained their familiar swagger and that spells trouble for the rest of the competition.

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Nananana, Batman's super powers are stronger than ever

Nananana! Move over Robert Pattinson, the real Batman is back and he's put on his cape to once again perform super powers on the half-court.

In his return to 3x3, Karlis Lasmanis left off right where we last saw him to dominate in a MVP performance in Montreal. The 28-year-old was unstoppable to lead the scoring charts with 48 points at an incredible near 10ppg.

The 6ft. 7in (2m) athletic beast landed Flight KLM like he should be a pilot in Top Gun:Maverick in a jaw-dropping comeback, where he issued a reminder that he might still own the 3x3 crown.

Others have made a head start in 2022, namely No.1 ranked player Strahinja Stojacic, but Lasmanis has that familiar strut like he truly believes he's still the best in the business.

After his heroics in Montreal, it's hard to doubt him.

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Sakiai Gulbele are developing consistency

Sakiai have been hit or miss over the years. But when the Lithuanians are firing they can beat anyone. Right now, they are in a hot streak after winning the Eaubonne Challenger and finishing second in Montreal.

These dudes love playing in Montreal, where they won their only Masters in 2019, especially Marijus Uzupis who was MVP back then and probably would have won it here if his team secured one more W.

The lethal lefty finished No.1 in player value (41.4), second in points (37) and produced one of the great all-time games - a monster 15-point, 6 rebound, 4-highlight explosion - to beat Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy (MGL) with a Maurice Lacroix buzzer beater in an OT quarter-final classic.

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It's been a strong year for Lithuania in 3x3 and Sakiai are leading the hoops crazy country's charge on the World Tour.

Lessons from the 3x3 pro circuit ahead of the FIBA 3x3 Europe Cup 2022

As we just discussed, Crelan FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2022 silver medalist Uzupis is firing his deadly uzi on all spots on the half-court making an already formidable Lithuania even more confident ahead of Europe's biggest 3x3 event this season on September 9-11.

Fully stocked Latvia might just loom as No.1 seed Serbia's biggest challenger with Riga proving their four rock stars had not lost any of their old magic when the band is brought back together.

In front of their crazy fans in Graz, Austria will be eyeing a deep run after Vienna's strong form on the pro circuit which saw them make the semis in Montreal.

Of course, they won't have Serbian legend Stefan Stojacic, who lit up Montreal in his World Tour return, but Matthias Linortner is a proven bucket getter while Filip Kramer is a runaway freight train when he's driving down the lane.

While in the women's, France are absolutely packed with talent after their U24 team made the final in the Montreal Stop on the FIBA 3x3 Women's Series on the back of winning the Eaubonne Stop.

Their senior team have also enjoyed a lot of success with the Crelan World Cup 2022 champs eyeing a famous double by capturing Europe's biggest prize.

No.1 seed Germany deserve top billing with their depth further underlined by strong performances from commercial team Dusseldorf ZOOS, who finished second in Eaubonne and fourth in Montreal.

European powers Spain and Lithuania also enter in strong form in what should be an epic 3x3 Europe Cup.

New kids on the block Beijing made their mark

We love newcomers and Beijing (CHI) served notice with a strong showing in their debut.

Led by Serbian 3x3 legend Marko Savic, hopes were high and Beijing lived up to the hype with a couple of big Ws .They stunned Princeton in an OT thriller first up and then knocked out Chicago (USA) to progress to Day 2.

Beijing couldn't make it three in a row against American teams after their hearts were broken by Omaha 3BALL (USA) in the quarters, but they showed enough to suggest they are the real deal.

We can't wait to see them next!

The dunk contest was lit!

We were hyped for everyone's favorite event and it somehow was better than those expectations with a dunk contest for the ages.

Take a bow American high-flyer Jordan Sutherland, who blew away the competition with some sick ridiculous dunks, including a baseline 360 switching hands that gave Vince Carter nostalgics a smile on their face.

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