Novi Sad Al Wahda back to number 1 after FIBA 3x3 World Tour Prague Masters Seeding
PRAGUE (FIBA 3x3 World Tour 2017) - Two-time FIBA 3x3 World Tour winners Novi Sad Al Wahda (UAE) are the number 1 seed again as they prepare to face Humpolec (CZE) and Zagreb (CRO) in the pool phase of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Prague Masters, live from Czech Republic on August 5-6.
It didn't take long for Novi Sad Al Wahda to return to the top. Fresh off their win at the Utsunomiya Masters, the team goes back to Prague where they won the first 2 Masters of their career back in 2013 and 2014.
They have struggled in the UNESCO World Heritage site the last 2 years though, losing to Paris (FRA) in the quarter-finals in 2015 and Ljubljana (SLO) in the semi-finals last year.
Last year in Prague, they actually defeated Humpolec (CZE) - featuring the core of the Czech 3x3 national team - in the pool stage. Their other competition in Pool A will be a new-look Zagreb (CRO) team, which we haven't seen at the World Tour in 4 years.
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 seeded as follows:
Ljubljana had a weekend to forget in Japan and will have to do without Tomo Cajic in Prague. The Saskatoon Masters MVP is still recovering from a back injury. Good news is this time around the reigning World Tour champs will play with 4 players as they called up Zelimir Zagorac, who was on the team in several challengers earlier this season.
More good news for Ljubljana: they beat their two future Pool B opponents in Prague last year, Vitez (BIH) in a do-or-die pool game and Ostrava (CZE) in the quarter-finals.
Fun fact: The Prague Masters last year was the first-ever Masters Ljubljana won in their entire World Tour career (they had won the Final in 2013 without winning a single Masters).
Pool C will be a pool of sharks for Saskatoon (CAN). The number four 3x3 team in the world comes back to Prague after finishing second last year. However they will meet two teams that have also found success in the Czech capital.
In 2015, 'Mr Crossover' Dragan Bjelica led Belgrade (SRB) to the semi-finals of the Prague Masters. That same year, Kolobrzeg (POL) finished second in Prague and earned a ticket to the World Tour Final in Abu Dhabi.
Last but not least, Zemun Master (SRB) will hope to recover from a complicated trip to Utsunomiya and a disappointing quarter-final exit against Ulaanbaatar (MGL).
They certainly could have hoped for an easier seeding as they will meet Michael 'Money in the Bank' Hicks and his Krakow R8 Basket team and a brand new Athens (GRE) team in Pool D.
For those not attending the games on Wenceslas Square (entrance is free!), pool games will start at 4pm local time (GMT+2) on Saturday 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 3.15pm local time on Sunday.