Amsterdam HiPRO face early danger games at FIBA 3x3 Cebu Masters 2023
CEBU (Philippines) - Amsterdam HiPRO (NED) will renew hostilities against dangerous Paris (FRA) and San Juan (PUR) on Day One of the Cebu Masters, as the FIBA 3x3 World Tour returns to hoops crazy Philippines.
After a thrilling Manila Masters in May, Cebu will host for the second straight season on September 23-24 and some of the top teams on the planet are ready to put on a show for the passionate Filipino fans.
No.2 seeds Amsterdam have still not cracked a Masters title in 2023, but again enter as one of the favorites. Any team with Worthy de Jong just has to be a title contender, but the Dutch high-flyer will have to be in attack mode from the start in a tough Pool B.
De Jong will go toe-to-toe with fellow scoring machines Franck Seguela and Antonio Ralat in what just has to be the 'Group of Death'.
Amsterdam and Paris have split their two Masters games this season, while San Juan knocked out the Dutch Masters in Edmonton en route to reaching the final.
Top seeds Ub Huishan NE (SRB) snapped a rare losing streak by taking out the Samobor Challenger before their long journey to the Philippines.
They have their A-Team in Cebu led by top-ranked Strahinja Stojacic, who won MVP in Samobor to add another top honor to his overstuffed trophy cabinet.
Ub headline Pool A containing Wuxi (CHN) and Sansar MMC Energy (MGL), who boast Anand Ariunbold aka 'The Archer'.
The sniper is averaging 5.9 ppg on the pro circuit, but probably will need to go up a level against Ub and dark horse Wuxi, who have won a title on the pro circuit this season but are yet to emerge from Day One in four previous Masters.
Manila Chooks will be flying the Filipino flag and the 11th seeds need to be taken seriously because hometown hero Mac Tallo always dazzles on his half-court.
He will no doubt reach deep into his bag of tricks as Manila look to start a giant-killing run against No.3 seeds Vienna (AUT) and Futian (CHN) in Pool C.
High-profile Vienna and Futian are loaded with stars but haven't recorded a title yet in 2023. Futian, especially, will enjoy returning back to the Philippines after finishing second in Manila.
In Pool D, get ready for Miami (USA) and Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy (MGL) to renew their rivalry. Y'all remember the insanity that happened in Macau, yeah?
Well superstar Jimmer Fredette sure hasn't forgotten and he'll be out for revenge in Cebu as he engages in a personal shoot-out with legendary Steve Sir.
The third team from Pool D will come from the qualifying draw, which comprises Lubao MCFASolver (PHI), Auckland (NZL) and Taichung Hong Jia (TPE).