Top 5 men to watch at FIBA 3x3 Universality Olympic Qualifying Tournament 1 2024

9 Apr 2024

HONG KONG (China) - Some of the world's best 3x3 players will be extra determined with the Paris Games in their sights as they prepare to put on a show at the all-important FIBA 3x3 Universality Olympic Qualifying Tournament 1 2024

Let's look at five players you just have to keep your eyes on during this pivotal event on April 12-14. 

Worthy de Jong (Netherlands)

We've quickly seen this Dutch hoops legend take over the half-court and no one has scored more than him at the World Tour level after he dropped an insane 9.3 ppg last year. 

Tapping into his deep bag, de Jong unleashed a deadly cocktail of Euro steps, crossovers and nasty foot work to rewrite the record books. Having delivered success for Amsterdam, de Jong is now ready for national success as he eyes leading the Netherlands to Paris.  

The scoring machine loves playing in Hong Kong, the place he won MVP just a few months ago on the World Tour, so everything is lined up for another performance from a dude who is most certainly worthy of the hype.

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Anand Ariunbold (Mongolia)

There are few players who can turn it on when it matters most quite like this Mongolian dude aptly nicknamed 'The Archer'.

He struggled in the early stages of the recent FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup 2024 before going on a heater in the knockouts to almost single-handedly lift a youthful Mongolia to a bronze medal. 

Ariunbold carried the team on his back in the fight for bronze against New Zealand with an incredible 15 points, including 4 twos, to ensure Mongolia reached the podium. 

If he continues on his heat check then Mongolia might just emerge victorious in Hong Kong. 

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Karlis Lasmanis/Nauris Miezis (Latvia)

While everyone else dreams of Olympic glory, these two Latvian legends have been to the summit after creating history with gold in Tokyo. 

These superheroes are best when playing together because they can take turns wearing the cape. They are known as 'Batman' and 'Robin', but each can be the lead hero when needed. 

Lasmanis hit the biggest shot in 3x3 history when he won the Olympic gold medal with a huge two, while Miezis has also made numerous clutch buckets to cement his reputation as an assassin. 

Move aside Jackie Chan, these Latvians are the baddest action stars in Hong Kong. If one doesn't lay the smack down, the other will.  


Matthias  Linortner (Austria)

This Austrian is an absolute walking bucket and capable of causing a typhoon in Hong Kong. Memo to defenders - do not leave him open because he's one of the best snipers in the business and he rarely misses. 

Linortner's shown his shooting prowess on the World Tour, but now it's time for him to shine at the international level as he eyes lifting Austria into their first Olympic Games. 


Gilles Martin (Switzerland) 

For those who don't know, Martin has more highlights than Ballislife. He's made for the TikTok generation because he's a human highlight reel with his trippy moves. 

'The Swizard of Oz' might just be the most exciting player in the world as he continually makes much taller opponents look rather foolish on the half-court. 

But he's much more than just flash with Martin having generated an impressive CV in 3x3 and it's only growing. If he can lead Switzerland to the Olympics then that will be his crowning achievement. 

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