3x3 star Lasmanis fueled by last year's win in Doha
DOHA (Qatar) – You never forget your first.
On November 20-21, Doha will once again be the home of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour, welcoming the top players and teams from around the world. Amongst the top contenders will be Riga (LAT), led by their dynamic duo of Nauris Miezis and Karlis Lasmanis.
Riga are looking forward to being back to Doha for a chance to repeat as the winners of the event. In 2019, they defeated world No.1 Liman (SRB) 15-14 in the final to take home their first-ever World Tour win.
"It was the first time we won any Masters and we were feeling great. We’re focused now on trying to win back-to-back titles. I think it’s going to be tough, but we are ready for everyone,” said Lasmanis.
The Doha Masters were especially good to the man they call “Batman”, winning MVP honors after leading all scorers with 39 points in 5 games.
It was a monumental moment for the team. Up until the Doha Masters 2019, Riga had played in 9 other World Tour events, finishing as runner-up three times.
"Last year, after we won, we won a few more times after that because of that win (in Doha). We had the mentality that we could win. It helped us a lot."
Now, Lasmanis and his teammates turn their attention to the task at hand in Qatar. The team will remain self-isolated at home, take COVID-19 tests in Latvia, followed by more testing on the ground in Doha.
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With the shortened season, players have found it more challenging to get ready both mentally and physically. Compared to the usual packed schedule with warmup events, teams now need to adapt to the smaller practice settings.
"It’s harder to prepare for the competition because you don’t have sparring partners. All you can practice with is your guys, your teammates. But our coach is getting us ready and we will be prepared."
Regardless of their opponents, Lasmanis believes that their top-level preparation has remained the same.
"We keep working on our weaknesses. We haven’t changed the way we practice in the last year and it doesn’t matter if Novi Sad will be there or not, there are going to be a lot of good teams."
While Lasmanis continues to collect MVP trophies, he is 100% focused on his team goals. The former #1 player in the world certainly aims to be the best player that he can be, but not at the expense of the team.
"As long as we win the games, it doesn’t matter. It’s nice to be number one, but my priority is how the team is playing."
Watch Lasmanis, Riga, and the rest of FIBA 3x3 action streaming live in Doha on the FIBA 3x3 YouTube channel.