All eyes on Miami's title quest at FIBA 3x3 Sukhbaatar Challenger 2023
SUKHBAATAR (Mongolia) - A Jimmer Fredette-led Miami (USA) will be looking for a first title on the pro circuit at the FIBA 3x3 Sukhbaatar Challenger on August 12-13.
The No.4 seeds are part of a strong 13-team field and there are also three tickets available for the Amsterdam Masters, which is the 11th stop on this season's FIBA 3x3 World Tour.
Let's preview all the action.
Much-hyped Miami have found out that the pro circuit is extremely competitive after starting off 0 from 4 in events.
But the Americans - who effectively double as Team USA - should be encouraged after a runners-up finish at their last event at the Bordeaux Challenger.
Former NBA player Fredette has been a shining light and will be desperate for his first pro circuit dub, but there are plenty of other challengers for the crown in Sukhbaatar.
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They again fell short of a first Masters title, but Beijing (CHN) have dominated the pro circuit with a trio of victories in Challengers.
Dynamic duo Karlis Lasmanis and Nauris Miezis will be out to prove they have the best one-two punch in the tournament, as other Chinese teams make their mark.
Like Beijing, Futian (CHN) have had big expectations but remain without a title so far.
The return of superstar Dimeo van der Horst can help break this drought for Futian, who've been overshadowed by new Chinese sensations Wuxi - victors at the Yichang Challenger.
It's taken us too long to name top seeds Antwerp TOPdesk (BEL), who made the semis in Prague.
Dennis Donkor and Jonas Foerts were lights out and they might just shoot up a storm for the Belgians.
And we can't forget fan favorites Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy (MLG), who will have the crowd support and quite possibly more heroics from ice cold Marko Dugosija.
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An early exit in Prague cost Paris (FRA) from being in the above group, but we know their ceiling after they memorably beat Miami to win the Bordeaux Challenger.
Their best player Franck Seguela walked off with the MVP after he was a flame thrower and Paris can make a deep run if he can get scorching hot once again.
Sansar MMC Energy (MGL) have gone off the boil a little, but we know it doesn't take long for walking bucket Anand Ariunbold to heat up.
The 26-year-old will be keen to recapture his early season brilliance which led him to being anointed with this sick nickname - 'The Archer'.
Wuhan (CHN) looms as a dark horse after Ximiao Yu was the leading scorer at the Yichang Challenger, while Cebu Chooks might just be able to shock the world and go on a giant-killing run.
Pool A: Antwerp TOPdesk (NED), Wuxi (CHN), Wuhan (CHN)
Pool B: Beijing (CHN), Paris (FRA), Qualifier
Pool C: Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy (MGL), Sansar MMC Energy (MGL), Qualifier
Pool D: Miami (USA), Futian (CHN), Cebu Chooks (PHI)
What's at stake
The top 3 teams in Sukhbaatar will qualify for the Amsterdam Masters on October 6-7, 2023, as part of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour.
How to watch
The two-day extravaganza is on August 12-13 and you can follow it live on the FIBA 3x3 YouTube