25 May 2023
DEQING HUZHOU (China) - Much loved NY Harlem (USA) will be out to thrill the fans at the FIBA 3x3 Deqing Huzhou Challenger on May 26-27 in their return to the 3x3 pro circuit.
In a loaded field, 16 teams will be aiming to go all the way while fighting for the prized two tickets available for the Edmonton Masters, which is the fifth stop on this year's FIBA 3x3 World Tour.
Let's preview all the action in the first opportunity to watch several of these teams.
We'll start with natural born entertainers NY Harlem, who for years have dazzled on the half-court in a game that suits these Americans to perfection.
The New Yorkers headline Pool D and will boast their famous names such as Dominique Jones - who you know better by the artist called 'Disco Domo'.
This excitement machine can light it up - and if he doesn't then partner-in-crime Kidani Brutus will from deep. And I'm sure you haven't forgotten about Marcel Esonwune, who loves nothing more than having a personal block party.
They will face an early test against Dusseldorf LFDY (GER), who were bounced early at the Manila Masters but boast dangerous players such as Niklas Kropp, who has Inspector Gadget arms and the big fella can splash from deep.
The top two seeds are Serbs Partizan and Liman, who loom as major contenders.
Partizan made a quarter-final run at the Utsunomiya Opener, as Ivan Popovic showed why he remains one of the most underrated players on the tour.
Liman might look a bit different this season, but still boast the winning pedigree through Stefan Kojic and Mihailo Vasic.
The powerhouses proved why they can never be written off after they were runners-up at the FIBA 3x3 Shenzhen Challenger with Kojic winding back the clock to be a flame thrower.
Utsunomiya BREX EXE (JPN) deserve to be on this list after a strong start to 2023, where they won the FIBA 3x3 Ulaanbaatar Super Quest 2023 and made the quarters at the Utsunomiya Opener and Manila Masters.
Marko Milakovic has gone up a level and is now a certified bucket getter, while speedy Yosuke Saito is lethal like sake when he has the Wilson in his hands.
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They will face a tough early test against Lausanne (SUI), who will bring back their A-Gamers. We can't wait to see Saito and Gilles Martin go toe-in-toe in a battle of the quickest players on the pro circuit.
There is much excitement over Toronto (CAN), who will unleash Bikramjit Gill aka 'The Bearded King' and we are hyped to see him pair up with walking bucket Alex Johnson.
Toronto will get an early litmus test against top seeds Partizan in a mouth-watering Pool A clash.
New team Versailles (FRA) also will intrigue and they boast excitement machine Lucas Dussoulier, while energetic Mike Harry has been recruited from Cebu Chooks.
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And don't write off Yokohama BeefmanEXE (JPN) and Chinese team Wuxi, who both can't be discounted on going on a giant-killing run.
Pool A: Partizan (SRB), Toronto (KBA), Qualifier
Pool B: Liman (SRB), Versailles (FRA), Yokohama BeefmanEXE (JPN)
Pool C: Lausanne Utsunomiya BREX EXE (MGL), Wuxi (CHN)
Pool D: NY Harlem (USA), Dusseldorf LFDY (GER), Qualifier
What's at stake
The top 2 teams in Deqing Huzhou will qualify for the Edmonton Masters on July 28-29, 2023, as part of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour.
How to watch
The two-day extravaganza is on May 26-27 and you can follow it live on the FIBA 3x3 YouTube and Facebook pages.