Defending champs Ub Huishan NE face hometown heroes at FIBA 3x3 World Tour Manila Masters

MANILA (Philippines) - No.1 seed Ub Huishan NE (SRB) will aim to silence the home fans on Day 1 at the Manila Masters as the defending champs start their quest for back-to-back titles to open the FIBA 3x3 World Tour 2023.   

The spectacular Serbs continued on from their incredible 2022 season with victory at the Utsunomiya Opener in an early season statement. 

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Ub Huishan NE remain the  team to beat in Manila on May 20-21 and headline Pool A, where they will face hometown heroes Manila Chooks in a blockbuster clash.  

Manila will be a formidable test having made the quarters at this event last year and have been boosted by the addition of excitement machine Mac Tallo, who 12 months ago almost broke the ankles of No.1 ranked player Strahinja Stojacic. 


In-form Utsunomiya BREX EXE (JPN) will be out to spoil the party and enter Manila confident after making the quarters of their home event before falling to Ub. 

The Japanese team had earlier won the FIBA 3x3 Ulaanbaatar Super Quest

New-look Riga (LAT) will be out to prove they can win without superheroes Karlis Lasmanis and Nauris Miezis with the No.2 seeds in Pool B alongside dangerous Dusseldorf LFDY (GER) and a youthful San Juan (PUR). 

This will be Riga's chance to unveil former Liman player Miroslav Pasajlic and Xingrui Wu of China on the World Tour. 

Olympic gold medallists Edgars Krumins and Agnis Cavars will be the glue guys as Riga face a fight against Dusseldorf and San Juan, who both made the final of last month's FIBA 3x3 Lausanne Super Quest with the Puerto Ricans emerging victorious. 

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Pool C is highlighted by a blockbuster between No.3 seed Amsterdam HiPRO and loaded Futian (CHN) as Dutch star Dimeo van der Horst faces his former team. 

Amsterdam HiPro beat Futian at the recent FIBA 3x3 Shenzhen Challenger in a thrilling 21-18 quarter-final but van der Horst did not play. 

Van der Horst and Vervoort have already proved a formidable duo having combined for 65 points to lead Futian to a runners-up finish in Ulaanbaatar. 

There is a lot of excitement brewing over their battles with Dutch human highlight reel Worthy de Jong, who has already caused several meltdowns on social media in his new jersey. 

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Japanese team Tsukuba ALBORADA (JPN) will look to shock the world and upset their fancied opponents. 

The game to watch in Pool D will be between confident Sansar MMC Energy (MGL) and powerful Beijing (CHN), who have so far lived up to the hype after recruiting superstars Lasmanis and Miezis.

The dynamic duo proved their superpowers extended to new colors with the pair dominating the Shenzhen Challenger to confirm Beijing's status as a powerhouse. 

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Sansar made an impressive semi-final run in Utsunomiya, where they were led by flame-thrower Anaad Ariunbold who continued his heater having been the hero of Mongolia's memorable triumph at the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup 2023

We can't wait to see Ariunbold go toe-to-toe against Lasmanis, who will no doubt have his cape on. 

Al Wakrah (QAT) will be aiming to go on a giant-killing run in Pool D and can't be discounted because the World Tour 2023 is set to be the craziest season on record.