De Jong's return hoped to ignite Amsterdam HiRO at FIBA 3x3 Quebec Challenger 2023
QUEBEC (Canada) - Slumping Amsterdam HiPRO (NED) hope the return of excitement machine Worthy de Jong can provide a spark at the FIBA 3x3 Quebec Challenger on August 19-20.
The top seeds are part of a strong 16-team field and there are also three tickets available for the Cebu Masters, which is the 10th stop on this season's FIBA 3x3 World Tour.
Let's preview all the action.
Without de Jong, they slumped to a shock Day One exit at the recent Belgrade Challenger.
But the flying Dutchman is back and might just be the boost Amsterdam needs with de Jong averaging a leading 8.7 ppg (for those who have played more than 5 games) on the pro circuit.
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Amsterdam will face an early litmus test against rising San Juan (PUR), who last time we saw them made the final in Edmonton.
With Antonio Ralat and Luis Cuascut providing a one-two punch, San Juan's young guns are cementing themselves as one of the most exciting teams on the pro circuit.
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Beijing (CHN) should have a major say in the outcome of the tournament after a heroic effort at the Sukhbaatar Challenger, where they made the final without a sub.
Karlis Lasmanis aka 'Batman' put his superhero cape on and produced an inspired effort that was ultimately in vain as they ran out of gas against Antwerp TOPdesk in the final.
While a reloaded Beijing will be eying their fourth title of the season, Lasmanis' former team Riga are still seeking to break their drought.
The third seeds will have to do it the hard way without their usual scorers, but Chinese players Yue Hongbo and Xingrui Wu are hoping to pick up the slack.
Fourth seeds Futian (CHN) have gone through an alarming slump and will be keen to get back to their strong early season form.
Superstars Dimeo van der Horst and Thibaut Vervoort are both in the line-up and you just know they'll be keen to get Futian back on track.
There are plenty of teams who could go all the way starting with Paris (FRA), who have a Challenger title under their belt this season although will be without superstar Franck Seguela.
Wuxi (CHN) looms as a threat having won the recent Yichang Challenger with sharpshooter Marko Radonjic and young unicorn Jiaren Zhao making their mark in 3x3.
Toronto KBA (CAN) have shown flashes and will hope flying the Canadian flag can inspire them to great heights, while NY Harlem (USA) led by legendary Dominique Jones aka 'Disco Domo' must always be taken seriously.
If sniper Almond Vosotros creates a heatwave in Quebec then Pasig TNT (PHI) can go on a giant-killing run.
Pool A: Amsterdam HiPRO (NED), Toronto KBA (CAN), San Juan (PUR)
Pool B: Beijing (CHN), NY Harlem (USA), Qualifier
Pool C: Riga (LAT), Wuxi (CHN), Pasig TNT (PHI)
Pool D: Futian (CHN), Paris (FRA), Qualifier
What's at stake
The top 3 teams in Quebec will qualify for the Cebu Masters on September 23-24, 2023, as part of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour.
How to watch
The two-day extravaganza is on August 19-20 and you can follow it live on the FIBA 3x3 YouTube and Facebook pages.