Trbovlje draw household names after Lausanne seeding
LAUSANNE (2015 FIBA 3x3 World Tour) - Last year's winners Team Trbovlje (SLO) will meet two of the most familiar names on the FIBA 3x3 scene in Pool B with Malaga and Bucharest as they start their title defence at the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Lausanne Masters on 28-29 August 2015.
Trbovlje are back at the World Tour this season after their disappointing performance at the Prague Masters (where they lost in the quarter-finals) and feature the exact same team which won in Lausanne in overtime last season. Their star Simon Finzgar aka 'The Sphinx' is back for another campaign with partner in crime Adin Kavgic. The two Slovenians are part of an exclusive group of 8 players who have participated in all 4 editions of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour.
Three of the remaining 6 players will also feature in Pool B with Javier Meras Ramirez, Ismael Reina and Juan Vasco Trabado representing the city of Malaga at the World Tour for the fourth straight year. Last time these three played in Lausanne, they fell short in the quarter-finals (in 2013).
Team Bucharest is another historic name on the World Tour as the only squad to play in all 3 finals of the World Tour. However the roster has changed entirely and will feature the Constantin brothers, who will try to emulate what the Polish Rduch brothers did in Prague (qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Final with Team Kolobrzeg).
Like it is the case in all FIBA 3x3 competitions, the seeding is conducted automatically according to the 3x3 individual World ranking (of the three best players from each team). According to the FIBA 3x3 regulations, teams are seeding as follows:
Speaking of familiar faces, Pool A will be headlined by Ljubljana, the 2013 FIBA 3x3 World Tour winners, who have already earned their ticket to Abu Dhabi after finishing second at the Beijing Masters just two weeks ago. The most experienced team at the tournament (33 years on average) will meet Zemun (SRB) and Istanbul (TUR) who both will make their debut at the World Tour, with the notable exception of sharpshooter Gürcan Cüceloglu who played at the FIBA 3x3 World Istanbul Final in 2013.
The new generations take over in Pool C with Team Tunis being the eldest team with only 27 years on average. Tunis will be the only African team at the event and will try to do as well as Team Monastir – also of Tunisia – who reached the quarter-finals in Lausanne last year. Team Domzale (SLO) knocked out some big teams in the qualifying tournaments this summer, including Team Ljubljana and Vilnius is back at the World Tour with the same players who shined the last two years in national-team competitions for Lithuania (bronze medal at the 2014 FIBA 3x3 European Championships).
Last but not least, Team Lausanne will be the first-ever Swiss team to play at the Lausanne Masters in three editions and feature some well-known names in the country such as former basketball international Oliver Vogt. The local favourites will face Utrecht (NED) and Gdansk (POL) in Pool D.
For those not attending the games in Place Centrale in the heart of the Olympic capital (entrance is free!), pool games will start at 17.15 local time (GMT+2) on Friday live on FIBA 3x3's official YouTube channel. The top-two placed teams from each pool advance to a standard knock-out round which starts at the quarter-finals stage, from 17.30 local time on Sunday.