Talented hosts face tough early test against confident NY Harlem at Lausanne Masters
LAUSANNE (Switzerland) – Lausanne (SUI) will receive a major first up test against in-form NY Harlem (USA) in a blockbuster start to the sixth Masters of the season in Switzerland on August 23-24.
The rising Swiss team led by the outrageously talented Natan Jurkovitz are the No.6 seeds and dazzled fans at last year’s event with a semi-final finish. Jurkovitz missed last year's homecoming but starred two years ago to lead Lausanne to the final.
Lausanne have been drawn in Pool C headlined by NY Harlem, the hottest 3x3 team on the World Tour.
The New Yorkers have won three consecutive Challengers with Dominique Jones aka 'Disco Domo' unstoppable since leading USA to gold at the Pan-American Games.
Having finished second in Mexico City, NY Harlem are striving for their first Masters victory and an end to USA’s drought at Masters events.
How'd you defend this?😰 pic.twitter.com/J1XcVfO2VY— FIBA3x3 (@FIBA3x3) August 15, 2019
Also flying the USA’s flag are No.4 seeds Princeton who just fell short at the Prague Masters against Riga Ghetto (LAT) in the final. FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2019 MVP Robbie Hummel has continued to be the key player for Princeton with his unparalleled ability to drop buckets from anywhere on the court.
Kareem Maddox, another World Cup winner, returns and replaces fellow high-flyer Zahir Carrington in the team.
No.1 seeds Liman (SRB) are desperate for their first Masters title of the season after a somewhat lackluster year to date. The Serbs collected titles at will during a dominant season last year but have found things more difficult in 2019 as the competition has heated up.
Liman were knocked out by Piran (SLO) in the quarter-finals in Prague and could face them again at some stage in Lausanne. The world No.3 will hope Stefan Stojacic aka Mr Robot can find his best as the superstar has had a mixed time of it since returning from an ankle injury in June.
No.2 seeds Piran rewound the clock in Saskatoon with their first Masters victory in two years and showed it was no fluke with a fine effort in Prague where they reached the semi-finals. Adin Kavgic and Anže Srebovt return after missing Prague meaning Piran have their Saskatoon winning line-up back.
The 14 participating teams compete for USD $75,000 and points to climb up the World Tour standings. Unlike last year, the Masters winners do not qualify directly to the World Tour Final.
The top 12 teams in the standings after the last Masters will head to Utsunomiya, Japan where the final will be played on November 2-3.