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

2 Aug 2022

PRAGUE (Czech Republic) - After a two-month breather, the FIBA 3x3 World Tour 2022 returned in epic fashion after an insane Prague Masters but some things stayed the same with unstoppable Ub Huishan NE (SRB) once again flexing their muscles.

Let's debrief on the third Masters of the season played in one of 3x3's most famous destinations.

Ub really might be as good as Novi Sad 2018

After they went back-to-back to start the season in Manila, Ub boldly claimed they wanted to try the impossible and beat Novi Sad's 32-game winning streak in 2018.

It was almost crazy to even contemplate, but these spectacular Serbs sure have swagger and belief. After their third straight World Tour event title, a feat not achieved since, you guessed it, Novi Sad four years ago, Ub might just seriously give that holy landmark a shake.

Ever since they lost their season opener to Princeton in Utsunomiya, Ub have won 14 straight games, including an unbeaten run in Prague where they were pushed by Washington DC in the semis and compatriots Belgrade Partizan in the final.

Ub are a well-oiled machine and clicking on all cylinders, particularly on offense where they hit the magical 21-point target in every game in Prague. Strahinja Stojacic and Dejan Majstorovic are now the best one-two punch in the game, while lethal lefty Marko Brankovic can get buckets any time he pleases.

Newcomer Nemanja Barac has taken to 3x3 like a duck to water and does all the little things that makes him the team's glue guy. But he's no slouch with the ball either, this dude can score a bucket when needed.

It all adds up to an almost perfect team that looks totally unbeatable. The World Tour is far deeper and talented than in 2018, but no one is giggling now at Ub's record-breaking goals after they collected another title.

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Stojacic just keeps getting better

Last time we saw him at the Masters, in Manila, Strahinja Stojacic was hobbling on one leg but he fought through the pain to make sure Ub went all the way.

Fully fit - and having since won gold at the FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2022 - Stojacic wanted to remind everyone that he's ranked No.1 for a reason.

The bouncy 30-year-old deservedly won the MVP after dominating in Prague where he finished with a ridiculous 41.4 in player value - well ahead of second-placed Arturs Ausejs from Riga with 32.

Stojacic was a one-man highlight reel, showing off insane round-the-back passes to go with his usual high-flying act, but this bad man is all business when it's money time.

In a tense final against Belgrade, Stojacic took over with the last 8 points en route to a game-high 14 points to end a brilliant tournament with a resounding punctuation.

'Doctor Strange' might actually be 'Doctor Scary' because Stojacic is causing nightmares for opponents.

On an interesting note, the same day we was winning MVP in Prague... his older brother Stefan (another former number one) won his own MVP award at the ABA Edmonton Challenger.

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Belgrade and Tel Aviv make statements on their first World Tour appearance

Basically every major event now, there is a surprising giant-killing run by an emerging team adding to 3x3's pot of gold.

In Prague, 10th seed Belgrade Partizan and qualifier Tel Aviv became the latest sensations after dazzling runs.

Belgrade were so close to an amazing triumph, but still walk away very pleased having started with a thrashing of power Liman followed by impressive knockout wins over Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy and Tel Aviv.

Ivan Popovic was a walking bucket, particularly from deep as Belgrade were dead-eyed accurate throughout, while dunking machine Marko Stevanovic is a wanted man in Prague after collecting too many bodies. Belgrade were also mean on D to concede the fewest ppg (14.6) in the competition.

Tel Aviv too were mightily impressive having made the final four all the way from qualification, with just three players for the majority of the event after Gur Lavy sustained an injury. They had maybe the upset of the year after a shocking quarter-final upset over Riga and were led superbly by Netanel Artzi, who was a flame thrower with 11 points.

The 25-year-old created a heatwave in Prague with sizzling shooting from deep alongside monster dunks to finish with 34 points from 4 games. He was dunking so hard that he might get an invite to the dunk contest next time!

Remember the name because Netanel Artzi is just warming up.

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Washington DC are box office

These Americans are natural born entertainers and have become must watch every time new kids on the block Washington DC step on the half court. Their games have more action than Thor: Love and Thunder complete with non-stop dunks, sick dimes and outrageous shots.

Hassani Gravett showed exactly why he played in the NBA last season after starring in his Masters debut but he wasn't a one-man show. Teammate Keaton Wallace heats up quicker than a kettle, while Khalil Iverson can walk on air.

They stunned red-hot Liman in the quarters with an unbelievable comeback victory only to just fall short of Ub, but won plenty of new fans along the way.

Welcome, Washington DC - 3x3's hottest new property.

Liman's frustrating Masters season continues

Liman were hotter than the European summer and came to Prague on a 15-game winning streak after three straight Challenger wins.

But that streak ended immediately when Liman were thrashed first up by Belgrade and they never really recovered. The No.2 seed were bounced in the quarters after letting slip a big lead as their quest for a Masters title in 2022 still eludes them.

Big fellas Mihailo Vasic and Aleksandar Ratkov couldn't make the paint their personal playground, while Liman clearly missed the sharpshooting of star Stefan Kojic.

Still Liman will be disappointed their momentum ended when it mattered most but you just know this bitter feeling will make them even stronger.

'Grabo' was the Pole who stole the show

In an all Polish dunk contest, Piotr 'Grabo' Grabowski won the bragging rights over all-timer Rafal 'Lipek' Lipinski and Bartosz Szwed.

'Grabo' was at his electrifying best with absolutely jaw-dropping drunks that you just have to watch or - if you have - requires another viewing right now.

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