In-form Gagarin aim to upstage Amsterdam and Princeton at the Fountask Nanjing Challenger
NANJING (China)– There will be plenty of drama and excitement at the Fountask Nanjing Challenger on April 20-21 with sixteen teams fighting to secure their tickets to the Chengdu Masters.
The two finalists in Nanjing will qualify for the Chengdu event on June 1-2 in the second stop on this season’s FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters.
Four of the top 11 teams in the world will be in Nanjing, headlined by No.4 Amsterdam (NED) who boast a wealth of experience and the leadership of lefty Jesper Jobse.
They will be looking for an improved performance after a stunning early exit at the recent Wuxi Challenger following losses to Edmonton (CAN) and Moscow Inanomo (RUS).
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Enjoying the sights in #Shanghai after practice 🇨🇳 . #china#ballers#basketball#amsterdam#lights#tourists
The top-seeded Dutch will have their work cut out with No.6 ranked Princeton determined to get back on the big stage and help end a frustrating drought for mighty USA, who have not had a team win a Masters since 2016.
Princeton have a well-balanced team marked by the jaw-dropping athleticism of Zahir Carrington and the all-around game of former college star and NBA player Robbie Hummel.
Another American team, Venice Beach, will also be in Nanjing and aiming for a boil over as the No.16 seeds.
One of the stars in Nanjing will be No.1 Russian player Alexander Zuev, who will be the main man for in-form Gagarin who finished runners-up at the Wuxi Challenger. They stunningly beat No.1 Liman (SRB) 22-21 in the semi-final before a tough 21-15 loss to Riga Ghetto (LAT) in the final
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2 место на #Wuxichallenger ✌️выиграли путевку на Мастерс в Чэнду 1-2 июня 🇨🇳 #fiba3x3 #3x3 #gagarin3x3
The youthful Russians will be in Pool C where they face a potentially tough encounter against experienced Serbian team Vrbas, who are the No.6 seeds.
Pool D looms as an arm-wrestle between No.4 seeds Ralja Intergalactic from Serbia and No.5 Delhi 3BL (IND), who will see the return of their star player Amjyot Gill.
The winner takes home $15,000 USD and there is $32,000 overall in prize money - a significant increase from $20,000 in challengers last year.
Latvian powerhouse Riga Ghetto won last year’s Nanjing Challenger after easily beating Moscow Inanomo 21-12 in the final.
Serbian powerhouse Novi Sad have already qualified for the Chengdu Masters alongside world No.8 Ljubljana based on ranking. Riga Ghetto (LAT) and Gagarin earned their ticket to Chengdu at the Wuxi Challenger last weekend.
If Gagarin reach the final of the Nanjing Challenger, then the team ranked 3rd at the event will qualify to the Chengdu Masters.
Follow the event live on the official FIBA 3x3 YouTube channel: