Everything you need to know about FIBA 3x3 World Tour Constanta Masters 2023
CONSTANTA (Romania) - There's no time to catch a breath because the FIBA 3x3 World Tour lands at an exciting new destination with the first-ever Constanta Masters.
Here is all the important information you need before the ninth Masters of 2023.
Where can I watch the Constanta Masters?
The action runs from September 9-10, and you can follow it live on the FIBA 3x3 YouTube channel.
Who is competing in Constanta?
This loaded draw has a total of 16 squads: Antwerp TOPdesk, Amsterdam HiPRO, Raudondvaris Hoptrans, Vienna, Liman Huishan NE, Utrecht, Princeton, Wuxi, Hangzhou, Fribourg, Wuhan, Krupanj, Podgorica Kodio, Ostrow BM, Constanta Arrow Sea, Bialoleka Isetia
What are the pools?
View this post on Instagram
Who are the favorites?
For the first time in 2023, world No.1 Ub Huishan NE (SRB) is absent from the Masters.
But we have the two most recent winners in the draw, so let's put some respect on their names and start with Antwerp TOPdesk (BEL) and Raudondvaris Hoptrans (LTU).
The brilliant Belgians are the deserved top seeds and have been boosted this season by the additions of snipers Jonas Foerts and Vic Van Oosterwyck.
The lethal Lithuanians made a statement in Debrecen, with deadly duo Aurelijus Pukelis and Marijus Uzupis proving unstoppable. They continued their hot streak to lead Lithuania to a silver medal at FIBA 3x3 Europe Cup 2023.
There is no time for rest as they switch their sights to back-to-back titles, but the competition is deep in Constanta.
Amsterdam HiPRO (NED) are seemingly cursed at the quarters having lost at that stage five of six times on the World Tour 2023. If they can overcome that hoodoo then this highly-rated Dutch team just might win their first Masters title of the season.
This is only the fourth appearance on the World Tour this season for Vienna (AUT), who will be aiming to make up for lost time but they face an early test against powerhouse Liman Huishan NE (SRB).
We're so used to seeing this legendary team collecting titles, but it's been a lean run for Liman. Led by superstars Stefan Kojic and Mihailo Vasic, we just have to include them among the favorites.
Don't be surprised if dark horse teams Utrecht (NED), Princeton (USA), Hangzhou (CHN), Wuxi (CHN) and Fribourg (SUI) make deep runs.
Who are the players to watch?
Dennis Donkor is a two-way menace and the heart and soul of Antwerp. Just watch how much this all means for him - it's inspiring!
He should be annoyed we didn't start with him, but Worthy de Jong is surely the best player in Constanta. The 6ft. 4in (1.94m) livewire is producing a great individual season, but he needs a Masters title to truly make it legendary.
It's almost guaranteed that Modestas Kumpys will put a defender in a body bag because this dude plays above the rim.
View this post on Instagram
We can't wait to see the Day One battle between snipers Stefan Kojic and Quincy Diggs - two bucket getters who will likely engage in an in-game shoot-out contest.
It's another opportunity to see some of the best breakout stars including new American sensation Henry Caruso, insanely skilled big man Jiaren Zhao and gunslingers Vladimir Trajkovic and Goran Vidovic who love nothing more than firing up two-pieces.
Oh, and we have to mention the Jurkovitz Bros, who are double trouble for opponents of Fribourg.