Partizan takes out FIBA 3x3 Pont du Gard Challenger

PONT DU GARD (France) - Led by new stars Stefan Milivojevic and Stefan Torbica, Partizan (SRB) claimed their third title of the season after winning the  FIBA 3x3 Pont du Gard Challenger.

Here's what happened.

The winners: Partizan (SRB)

They were: No.1 highlights, No.2 most points scored and fewest points allowed 

Partizan have been competitive for a while, but they are more loaded than ever with the combination of walking buckets Milivojevic and Torbica. 

The No.4 seeds had a setback on Day One after a tight loss to Paris (FRA) before going up a level when it mattered most.

They knocked out second seeds Vienna through a buzzer beater from Stefan Milivojevic, who was unstoppable with a triple-five of 8 points, 5 rebounds and 6 highlights. 

The Serbs then overcame Princeton (USA) in the semis before stopping the momentum of young guns Marseille (FRA) to capture their third title on this season's pro circuit. 

Milivojevic and Torbica might just need to be called the 'Sizzling Stefans' because they poured in 32 points each to again show why they are two of the best newcomers in the world. 

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The runner's-up: Marseille (FRA)

In five previous events, the youthful Marseille have shown glimpses but their talents clicked into place here. 

The Frenchmen were undefeated until falling short to Partizan with their dazzling run starting by emerging out of a tough Pool A, where they defeated top seeds Raudondvaris Hoptrans (LTU) and rising San Juan (PUR). 

Marseille easily beat Krupanj (SRB) in the quarters before defeating compatriots Paris (FRA) in an unforgettable semi-final. 

This team - aged 22 and under - are clearly making a mark on the pro circuit and you better get used to seeing Marseille contending for titles. 

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Thirouard-Samson, look out!: Lorenzo Thirouard-Samson has been hyped for some time and you better jump on the bandwagon. 

The 22-year-old might just be the next big thing in French 3x3 with a team leading 25 points and he dominated inside to hit 74% on one-pointers.

If he can develop consistency from deep then there won't be any stopping him.

The Final: Partizan 21-Marseille 16 

In a tournament full of surprises, Partizan were the only top-four seed to make the final four and they entered as favorites against the new French kids on the block. 

Partizan started fast through the inside game of Nikola Lazic, while Stefan Torbica continued to make it rain. 

Stefan Milivojevic and Andreja Milutinovic went bang, bang and this appeared a wrap with Partizan leading 10-1.

The fans were stunned and they looked for answers with Lorenzo Thirouard-Samson delivering to wake up Marseille then Hugo Pierre Emmanuel Cucherat scored three quick points. 

Behind their passionate fans, Marseille went on a 9-2 run capped by a two-piece from Leopold Delaunay as Partizan's lead shrank to 18-16.

But there was no miracle comeback with MVP Milivojevic shutting the door on Marseille with the final three points to finish a lights out performance of 9 points and 7 highlights. 


The reward: Three tickets to the Amsterdam Masters

With Partizan already qualified, Marseille, Princeton and Paris received the tickets and joined Ub Huishan NE, Antwerp TOPdesk, Amsterdam HiPRO, Beijing, Miami, Liman Huishan NE, Utrecht and Marijampole Mantinga as the teams headed to the Amsterdam Masters on October 6-7.

Final Standings:
1. Partizan (SRB)
2. Marseille (FRA)
3. Princeton (USA)
4. Paris (FRA)
5. Vienna (AUT)

Top Scorers:
1. Stefan Milivojevic (Partizan, SRB) 32 pts
2. Stefan Torbica (Partizan, SRB) 32 pts
3. Franck Seguela (Paris, FRA), 31 pts
4. King McClure (Princeton, USA), 31 pts 
5. Lorenzo Thirouard-Samson (Marseille, FRA), 25 pts 

Key Stats:
- Top seeds Raudondvaris Hoptrans and second seeds Vienna crashed out at the quarters, while No.3 Liman Huishan NE (SRB) failed to emerge from Day One. 
- Liman struggled but rising star Ning Zhang dominated Krupanj with a triple-five of 11 points, 8 rebounds and 6 highlights. 
- Princeton's Henry Caruso continued his amazing debut season with a triple-five of 7 points, 7 rebounds and 5 highlights against Liman and he finished third in player value (31.8).


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