Zavkhan Sainscore upstage Mongolian powerhouses to win FIBA 3x3 Ulaanbaatar Super Quest 2024

ULAANBAATAR (Mongolia) - Zavkhan Sainscore (MGL) upstaged powerful Mongolian teams to claim the FIBA 3x3 Ulaanbaatar Super Quest 2024 on April 21. 

Here's what happened.

The winner: Zavkhan Sainscore (MGL)

While Mongolian powerhouses Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy (MGL) and Sansar (MGL) were heavily fancied, Zavkhan Sainscore loomed large as a dark horse in this loaded field filled with Asian heavyweights. 

Their title hopes took a hit after losing to Saitama ALPHAS (JPN) in pool play, but Zavkhan did enough to get through. They were then inspired in the knockouts starting with a 21-16 upset over Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy

Zavkhan produced stunning defense to shut down snipers Steve Sir and Marko Dugosija as they surged to the semis. In their way stood Japanese power Utsunomiya BREX.EXE (JPN), but Bail Jung and Tserenbaatar Enkhtaivan stepped up to lead the Mongolians to a second straight upset. 

Their momentum was unstoppable as Zavkhan completed their giant-killing run with a thrilling victory over Anand Ariunbold's Sansar. MVP Jung made a name for himself with a show-stopping performance throughout the event. 

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The runner-up: Sansar (MGL)

Sansar entered as one of the title fancies and they didn't disappoint, but ultimately fell agonizingly short of glory. 

They boasted a team that doubled as the Mongolia national team led by Ariunbold and also featuring Delgernyam Davaasambuu, Dulguun Enkhbat and Enkhbaatar Onolbaatar.  

Sansar lived up to top billing as they rolled through pool play and also barely broke a sweat against Taipei FuorPathKnights (TPE) and Saitama ALPHAS (JPN) in the knockouts. 

This well-oiled machine was a heavy favorite against Zavkhan before falling narrowly short in an epic final. 


The Final: Zavkhan Sainscore 22- Sansar 20

Most had expected Sansar and Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy to make it through, but Zavkhan more than justified their spot in the final. And the underdogs weren't overawed on the big stage as they started fast with Ganbaatar Nyamdorj swishing home a two-piece. 

Bail Jung also went bang as Zavkhan stormed to a 6-1 lead. Sansar needed to respond quickly and they went to a reliable source in Delgernyam Davaasambuu, who played bully ball inside. 

Superstar Anand Ariunbold had been well held early, but he lit up with a huge two-piece to get Sansar within a bucket. He was in the zone as he splashed from downtown to give Sansar the lead and momentum.

But Zavkhan wasn't going to roll over with Jung responding with a two-piece as the teams went toe-to-toe. Ariunbold was on a heater to lock up the scores at 16.

Zavkhan had the answers and a two from Enkhsaikhan Bayarsaikhan gave them a 20-16 lead and within sight of victory. But Sansar showcased their experience with four straight points to tie the game and meant the next bucket would decide the title. 

It was little fella Bayarsaikhan who stepped up and drained a huge piece as Zavkhan claimed a spectacular triumph, while making a huge statement. 


The reward: Two tickets to the Ulaanbaatar Masters

Zavkhan Sainscore and Sansar qualified for the Ulaanbaatar Masters on June 8-9 as part of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour.

Final Standings:
1. Zavkhan Sainscore (MGL)
2. Sansar (MGL)
3. Utsunomiya BREX.EXE (JPN)
4. Saitama ALPHAS (JPN)
5. Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy (MGL)