Lasmanis: ''We are ready to win all three 3x3 World Tour Masters''
RIGA (Latvia) - The former number one 3x3 player in the world Karlis Lasmanis has the whole field on alert heading into the FIBA 3x3 World Tour 2020 on August 29.
The Latvian star has all the confidence in himself and his team to make noise on the World Tour 2020.
"We are ready to win all three tournaments."
Over an 8-day stretch, Riga will compete in the Debrecen, Hungary and Europe Masters and are getting ready to take the 120,000$ prize money home with them (for winning all 3 events).
Over the past two years, Riga has had a bittersweet relationship with Debrecen. In both 2018 and 2019, they advanced to the final but were defeated by the only 2 teams, which sit higher on the FIBA 3x3 Team Ranking, Novi Sad and Liman.
Lasmanis, however, had positive memories of the two events.
"Debrecen is actually kind of a good city for us because we played in two finals out there. I hope this year Debrecen will be good for us as well." Debrecen is for example where the 26-year-old became the number 1 player in the world last year.
Like every team around the world, Riga have been preparing for these high-level tournaments. Unlike most years, three World Tour events will take place over just one week. This means extra special attention to cardio training was needed.
"We practiced hard every day and I think we are totally ready. I am totally back from my injury and everyone feels really good on our team. At every practice, they increased the cardio to be ready for these three World Tours. We put a lot of work into that."
Lasmanis, who recently overcame his left ankle injury was full of excitement when he spoke about getting back on the court. Despite losing his number one world ranking, he is thinking all about leading his team to tournament wins, above all else.
“I have been really healthy for a month. I am totally back. Of course, it would be nice to be first again. But as long as my team wins every tournament it doesn’t matter if I’m 5th, 7th, or 1st. As long as my team wins games, I’m good with that.”
Since returning to the court in July, Lasmanis and his Riga teammates, including Nauris Miezis, the number two player in the world, Agnis Cavars, and Edgars Krumins, have been on fire. They have finished in first place at three different events, and appear to be in top shape heading to the Masters.
Lasmanis, better known as "Batman", is most excited to see all of the players at this year’s event. This will be one of the most competitive fields in history, featuring 39 of the top 50 players in the world.
"I am really excited about the Masters. I can’t wait to see all those guys and talk about how everyone has prepared for the year. It should be fun."
Of course, there’s nothing like the World Tour events, and Lasmanis can’t wait to get back on the court and feel that excitement that only comes with playing at the highest levels for the biggest prize. He has missed the team camaraderie and joining and the excitement that comes with big-time tournament play.
"For me, it means a lot. We played here in Latvia, so we got a little feeling of excitement, but of course, it’s different. My teammates and I cannot wait to go to Debrecen and feel the passion of getting back on the court and playing."
You can catch all the FIBA 3x3 World Tour action on the FIBA 3x3 YouTube page.