FIBA 3x3 World Tour reigning champs Liman Huishan NE face early test at Utsunomiya Opener
UTSUNOMIYA (Japan) - Last year's winners Liman Huishan NE (SRB) start the defense of their title at the Utsunomiya Opener on May 14-15 as the FIBA 3x3 World Tour comes back with a bang for its 11th edition.
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After a crazy 2021 season, the World Tour makes its much-anticipated return with an absolutely loaded Opener in Utsunomiya, the city that hosted the World Tour Final in 2019 and 3 Masters since 2016.
The reigning champs Liman Huishan NE start things off against Lithuanian squad Sakiai in Pool C, who brings back their fantastic four, and local favorites Utsunomiya BREX, which features Serbian 3x3 U23 World Cup 2019 bronze medalist Dusan Samardzic. Liman bring back the 4-man roster that claimed the title last December in Jeddah.
No.1 seed Ub Huishan NE (SRB) top Pool A and will hope to produce the type of form which saw the team win 2 Masters last year in Debrecen and Montreal. Their rivals in Pool A will be Princeton (USA) and Lausanne (SUI). Both the Serbians and the Americans introduced new players this season while Lausanne keep the same core roster from the last 2 years.
Pool B promises to be a battle to reach the quarter-finals as Antwerp (BEL), Jeddah (KSA) and Vienna (AUT) have been rising powers on the Tour last year. Jeddah was one of the most active teams in the player market this off-season, recruiting former #1 player in the world Simon Finzgar and 3x3 Europe Cup 2021 silver medalist Darius Tarvydas from Sakiai.
Last, but not least, Riga (LAT) and Amsterdam (NED) are the favorites in Pool D, which will welcome the third team from the Qualifying Draw, featuring some familiar faces like Keita Suzuki of Tokyo Dime. Asakusa EXE and Shinagawa CC, complete an all-Japanese Qualifying Draw.
Buckle up and enjoy the ride because Season 11 will be dynamite like Millie from Stranger Things.