3×3 superstars Marko Savic and Dejan Majstorovic will be pitted against former teammates Dusan Bulut and Tamas Ivosev for the first time since a shock breakup when Serbian teams Ub and Novi Sad clash on Day 1 of the Doha Masters on March 26-27.
The world’s 10 highest ranked teams will launch the World Tour’s season opener in an absolutely loaded field in Doha – the site of several famous 3×3 moments, including the jaw-dropping decider between Riga (LAT) and Liman (SRB) last November.
The Day 1 highlight will be the clash between new-look Novi Sad and beefed-up Ub in what will surely be an emotionally charged contest.
Savic and Majstorovic had been core pieces with powerhouse Novi Sad, who had long dominated the circuit until falling behind rivals Riga and Liman on last season’s shortened World Tour. Their disappointing campaign triggered the most stunning breakup since Brangelina split.
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Without their two guns, No.6 seed Novi Sad have been written off but it would be foolish to write off any team with Dusan Bulut aka ‘Mr Bullutproof’. But No.3 seed Ub, who made the final of the Hungary Masters last year, loom as a formidable opponent as they hunt for a title.
Locals Lusail (QAT) will be hoping to make it more than a two-horse race in Pool C.
— LTU Basketball (@ltu_basketball) March 22, 2021
In Pool A, No.1 seed Liman will be on a mission like Tom Cruise as they aim for redemption after agonizing defeats last year to Riga in Doha and the Jeddah Final. The Serbs will be without injured Stefan Stojacic aka ‘Mr Robot’ but have a prized replacement – walking bucket Nebojsa Kilijan, who used to play for Jeddah
Liman face tricky No.8 seed Piran (SLO) and No.9 Sakiai Gulbele (LTU) on Day 1. Led by legendary duo Simon Finzgar and Gasper Ovnik, the Slovenians are always formidable opposition while Montreal Masters 2019 winners Sakiai can mix it with the best.
No.2 seed Riga return to the site of very happy memories having won the last two Doha Masters. Just four months ago, Karlis Lasmanis aka ‘Batman’ hit the shot of his life to power the Latvians past Liman in a Masters triumph for the ages.
Consistent Riga, who once again have their full-strength lineup, will be hot favorite in Pool B which also features new-look No.7 seed Amsterdam Talent&Pro (NED) and No.10 Edmonton (CAN).
The Dutch masters will be without superstar Dimeo van der Horst. Think they’re done? Think again! That’s because they’ve added former Liman star Maksim Kovacevic in a major get.
Led by sharpshooter Steve Sir, Edmonton was a breakout team in their debut season of 2019 but were unable to take part in the World Tour last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. They will be raring to go in a bid to remind the world of their talents.
And we’ve still got more!
Pool D will be a battle of red, white and blue with NY Harlem and Princeton playing for American bragging rights.
No.4 seed NY Harlem have terrible memories of Doha having failed to get out of Day 1 last year, but they have a stronger squad this time around led by highlight reel Dominique Jones aka ‘Disco Domo’ and Joey King, who was regal last year on the World Tour.
No.5 seed Princeton were runners-up in the World Tour Final 2019 but only played once last year – a quarter-finals finish in Doha.
They won’t have superstar Robbie Hummel, but remember Kareem Maddox? He can fly higher than American Airlines, while shooter Craig Moore always wants more two-pieces.
The third team in the group will come from qualification.
Who knows what will happen in Doha but one thing is for sure – it’s going to be epic 3×3 action.
Even wilder than last November.