Novi Sad Al Wahda meet familiar faces after Abu Dhabi Final seeding
ABU DHABI (FIBA 3x3 World Tour) - Two-time FIBA 3x3 World Tour winners Novi Sad Al Wahda (UAE) will meet two of their 2016 victims in the pool phase of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Final, which will be held in Abu Dhabi on 27-28 October.
Belgrade (SRB) and St Petersburg (RUS) have two things in common:
1. Both ended up in Pool A
2. Both lost to Novi Sad Al Wahda in the semi-finals of a World Tour Masters this season.
The reigning champs defeated Belgrade (SRB) at the Debrecen Masters and St Petersburg (RUS) at the Beijing Masters.
While both teams will be looking for revenge, Novi Sad Al Wahda arrive in Abu Dhabi with a great deal of confidence. All four players won gold for Serbia at FIBA 3x3 World Championships last week.
Like it is the case in all World Tour events, 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 seeded as follows:
2013 World Tour winners Ljubljana (SLO) are up to a hard challenge in Pool B against Americas Masters winners Chicago (USA), whose core players recently won a silver medal representing USA Basketball at the FIBA 3x3 World Championships.
Good luck to São Paulo DC (BRA), who get a rematch of the Americas Masters final against Chicago.
Pool C features a Piran (SLO) team which was a Dejan Majstorovic miss away from reaching the title game of the World Tour Final last year in Abu Dhabi. Since then, the quatuor had a successful summer representing Slovenia in national team competitions. They won gold at the FIBA 3x3 European Championships and bronze at the FIBA 3x3 World Championships.
The other two teams will make their World Tour Final debut in Abu Dhabi. Gdansk (POL) are one of only four teams who played in three different Masters this season while Hamamatsu (JPN) are the only team with four players with four different nationalities.
Expectations are high in Pool D, the only pool featuring two different teams who won a Masters this year.
Jonathan Garcia won the inaugural edition of the World Tour back in 2012 and now leads a Caguas (PUR) team which won the Mexico Masters and is on a mission to win the whole thing in tribute to former team-mate, the late Andy Ortiz.
Saskatoon (CAN) won the Lausanne Masters and already have their eyes on the trophy after finishing second overall in Tokyo back in 2014.
Last but not least, the experienced Kranj (SLO) didn't win any Masters this year but made their way to the title game of the World Tour Final last year.
For those not attending the games at the Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex in Zayed Sports City (free entrance) – the games will be available from 17.00 local time (GMT+4) on Thursday 27 October live on FIBA 3x3's official YouTube channel and Facebook Live. The top-two placed teams from each pool advance to a standard knock-out round which starts at the quarter-finals stage, from 17.00 local time on Friday 28.