Beijing aim to break slump at FIBA 3x3 Wuxi Challenger 2023
WUXI (China) - Much-hyped Beijing (CHN) will be riding the support of the passionate fans at the Wuxi Challenger as they look to turn around their fortunes.
Beijing are part of a strong 14-team draw and there are also three tickets available for the Shanghai Masters, which is the 12th stop on this season's FIBA 3x3 World Tour.
Let's preview all the action.
We'll start with Beijing, who in case you've been living under a rock boast superheroes Karlis Lasmanis and Nauris Miezis this season.
Their famous chemistry carried over to their new team seamlessly with Beijing winning two titles early in the season.
But they've gone cold recently with Beijing title-less from their last four events, including a quarter-final exit at the Novi Sad Challenger.
You just know Lasmanis and Miezis are desperate to again take control of the 3x3 multiverse, but it won't be easy.
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No.1 seeds Vienna (AUT) have had a lighter schedule compared to some other teams with this being just their fourth event of the season.
But they've looked the goods with high-flyer Filip Kramer itching to attack the rims.
No.2 seeds Raudondvaris Hoptrans (LTU) are always contenders, but frustratingly haven't broken through in 2023 from seven events.
Buckle up because Modestas Kumpys is about to activate 'Flight Mode' and that just might ignite these lethal Lithuanians.
We're not going to fall for the same mistake. Partizan (SRB) made us look foolish when they won the Novi Sad Challenger, so firstly our apologies!
Big fella Marko Stevanovic was unstoppable while Stefan Torbica has been a breakout player for these Serbs, who should no longer go under the radar.
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There are a number of teams who can surprise the favorites starting with Sansar MMC Energy (MGL), who have struggled recently after an eye-catching start to the season.
But brace yourself for a typhoon hitting Wuxi because Anand Ariunbold is ready to make it rain for the whole two days.
Hometown heroes Wuxi (CHN) arrive confident after they finished second in Novi Sad, but their painful defeat in the final to Partizan will surely motivate them here.
We're especially interested in watching young gun Jiaren Zhao, who is a 3x3 unicorn because this big fella has all the skills in his tool box.
Warsaw Lotto (POL) have not been able to make it past Day One from three previous events this season and will need walking bucket Przemyslaw Zamojski to find the shooter's touch for them to make the knockout stage.
Utrecht (NED) will be eying a Day Two berth but their chances might hinge on how they fare against 3x3 wizard Mac Tallo, who is the main man for Manila Chooks (PHI).
Pool A: Vienna (AUT), Warsaw Lotto (POL), Qualifier
Pool B: Raudondvaris Hoptrans (LTU), Wuxi (CHN), Kuala Lumpur (MAS)
Pool C: Beijing (CHN), Utrecht (NED), Manila Chooks (PHI)
Pool D: Partizan (SRB), Sansar MMC Energy (MGL), Antananarivo (MAD)
What's at stake
The top 3 teams in Wuxi will qualify for the Shanghai Masters on October 14-15, 2023, as part of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour.
How to watch
The two-day extravaganza is on July 22-23 and you can follow it live on the FIBA 3x3 YouTube and Facebook pages.