Teams to watch at FIBA 3x3 World Tour Manama Masters 2023
9 Nov 2023
MANAMA (Bahrain) - After a short breather, the FIBA 3x3 World Tour 2023 resumes with the Manama Masters on November 16-17.
To get you hyped, let's look at the teams to watch on the penultimate stop of the regular season.
Ub Huishan NE (SRB)
Did you really think they would go through the season undefeated? It wasn't looking so crazy after the Serbs won the first six Masters of the season to hit the record books.
But, of course, all good things must come to an end and the last few months for them have felt longer than watching Killers of the Flower Moon.
Ub have not won a World Tour title from their last seven stops stretching three months. But they started to rediscover their best in Wuxi with a runners-up finish marked by an electric showing from superstar Strahinja Stojacic.
Like last season, it feels as if Ub are timing their run to perfection and we all know how that turned out. The Serbs ended 2022 by winning the World Tour Final and they'll have their eyes set on defending the showpiece title.
But they'll need to be in prime form and to do that Ub will want to taste success in Manama.
Things didn't quite go to plan for Partizan in Wuxi. After they emerged from qualifying, Partizan fell to eventual champs Paris (FRA) on Day One before Ub knocked them out in the quarters.
It was a let down after their runners-up finish in Abu Dhabi, but we all know how dangerous Partizan can be.
They are also in a fight to directly qualify for the Jeddah Final on the congested ladder with Partizan currently sitting 10th on the standings.
Partizan will be relying on scoring machine Stefan Milivojevic, who is averaging a sizzling 6.9 ppg in a spectacular World Tour debut season.
Like last year, when they finished runners-up at the World Tour Final, Vienna are playing their best at the right time.
After a tough middle part of the season, Vienna have made the final in three of their last four stops they've played on the World Tour highlighted by their stunning victory in Amsterdam.
They've found beautiful chemistry with Vienna firing on all cylinders led by Amsterdam MVP Quincy Diggs, who is getting plenty of support from sidekicks Matthias Linortner and Nico Kaltenbrunner.
Vienna have been the form team recently and will want to keep their winning ways going in Manama.
Amsterdam HiPRO (NED)
The Dutch Masters have had a confusing season. They've been dominant on the pro circuit with four titles and human highlight reel Worthy de Jong has submitted a season for the ages with an insane average of 9.2 ppg on the World Tour.
But they still have not broken through for a title on the World Tour this season with Amsterdam winless from nine events. They've also fallen at the quarters six times in what has been a curse for them all season.
Amsterdam belong in the top tier, but they really need a title soon otherwise this season will end up feeling rather hollow for them. They have a golden opportunity in Manama to break their drought.
Hangzhou (CHN) shocked the world in Constanta when they became the first Chinese team to go all the way on the World Tour.
They've proven to be the real deal with strong showings on the pro circuit ever since, including most recently when they finished runners-up at the Neom Challenger.
Sitting 20th on the standings, Hangzhou have some work to do to qualify for the Jeddah Final but they can make inroads with a run in Manama.
They'll look to Vladimir Trajkovic, who was unguardable in Constanta to finish with 41 points and the MVP.
San Juan (PUR)
The New Gen of Puerto Rican 3x3 have lived up to the hype with an impressive season that has included a title on the pro circuit and a runners-up finish at the Edmonton Masters.
The young guns feature sniper Antonio Ralat, who makes the half-court freeze when he has the Wilson in his hands in the clutch.