Piran and St Petersburg qualify for World Tour Utsunomiya after Penang Challenger
PENANG, Malaysia (FIBA 3x3 World Tour) - Team Piran (ex-Trbovlje) (SLO) defeated St Petersburg (ex-Leningrad) (RUS) in the Penang World Hoops 3x3 Challenger final on 7-8 May 2016. Both earned their ticket to the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Utsunomiya Masters, which will take place on 30-31 July 2016.
Team Piran won Penang 3x3 Challenger! pic.twitter.com/q2hKZEB2Ul— 3x3 Piran Basketball (@Piran3x3) May 12, 2016
The streak continues for Simon Finzgar and Adin Kavgic. The two Slovenians become the first players in the world to secure a spot in the FIBA 3x3 World Tour in all five editions.
Piran finished fourth at the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Final last season after taking eventual winners Novi Sad Al Wahda to overtime.
The team - which also boasted Gasper Ovnik and Anze Srebovt - was undefeated in Malaysia, winning their first five games before the end of the 10 minutes. They faced their biggest challenge in the final against St Petersburg, a team that finished 6th at the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Prague Masters in 2015 and featured 2015 European Games 3x3 gold medallist Alexandr Pavlov.
Piran eventually won 20-18 in a packed Gurney Paragon Mall. 10,000 people attended the event over the weekend, an amazing accomplishment considering World Hoops were organising the first-ever FIBA 3x3 World Tour Qualifier in Malaysia.
Piran and St Petersburg are the third and fourth teams to qualify for the Utsunomiya Masters after Al Gharafa (QAT) and Doha (QAT) earned their ticket at the Doha Challenger on 31 March.