The FIBA 3×3 World Tour Final takes place October 15 and 16 in Abu Dhabi. Twelve teams from eight different countries will action, and among the 48 players participating, here are 10 names expected to make some noise on the three-ball hardcourt:
CALVIN ABUEVA (Manila North, PHI – 1.91m, 27 years old, World Rank: 156)
Nicknamed “The Beast”, Abueva was on fire during the Manila Masters leg, leading his team to the final. Apart from that, he also played a pivotal role in the Philippines’ silver medal finish in the recently held 2015 FIBA Asia Championship. With just a handful of 3×3 games this season, don’t let his low world ranking deceive you. Abueva vowed to set his eyes on the prize and gun for gold.
Dusan Domovic Bulut (Novi Sad Al Wahda UAE – 1.91m, 29 years old, World Rank: 1)
Also called “Mr. Bullutproof,” the Serbian star has dominated the 3×3 scene since 2012 and won nearly every title, including the World Tour last year in Japan. He’s now trying to cement his place in history. The Rio de Janeiro Masters MVP has already won two Masters this season (Manila and Rio).
Blaz Cresnar (Ljubljana, SLO – 2.16m, 29 years old, World Rank: 8)
The “Birdman” is back with a vengeance after missing the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Final last year. The tallest player in the tournament, he is not your average 7-footer. The former world number one 3×3 player is surely out to prove he still has what it takes to be on top.
Derek Griffin (Denver, USA – 1.91m, 31 years old, World Rank: 68)
“Vanilla Gorilla” owns one of the coolest nicknames in the business, and it doesn’t hurt he has one of the smoothest jumpers either. Griffin also holds the distinction of being a member of the exclusive group of 12 players to have played in all four editions of the FIBA 3×3 World Tour. With an upgraded team, the top scorer of the Mexico DF Masters could make some noise in Abu Dhabi.
Dejan Majstorovic (Novi Sad Al Wahda UAE – 2.00m, 27 years old, World Rank: 2)
Novi Sad Al Wahda surge in the FIBA 3×3 World Tour has a lot to do with the on-court mastery of “The Maestro”. The number two-ranked 3×3 baller in the world is lethal from outside the arc. He won the shoot-out contest at the World Tour Final last year and again this season at the Rio de Janeiro Masters.
Sammy Monroe II (Doha, QAT – 1.98m, 30 years old, World Rank: 17)
He has posterized players from every time zone this season and currently ranks fourth on the scoring list though he has only played in two Masters legs this season. “Slammin’ Sammy” is one of the main reasons why Team Doha shone this year at the World Tour (3rd in Manila, 1st in Beijing) and is looking like the biggest threat to Novi Sad Al Wahda’s title repeat.
Szymon ‘SR44’ Rduch (Kolobrzeg, POL – 1.98m, 26 years old, World Rank: 26)
This Kolobrzeg team may be a family affair with three brothers on the same roster but “SR44” is the true leader of the squad. Rduch has an all-around game that was so impressive at the Prague Masters that he was named tournament MVP.
Ovidijus Varanauskas (Vilnius, LTU – 1.86m, 24 years old, World Rank: 59)
Varanauskas was simply unstoppable in Lausanne, leading his team to a perfect 5-0 record and later on bagged MVP honors. The Lithuanian playmaker has a nasty crossover and added a reliable shot from the outside this season. He was made available for the Final by his new professional 5on5 team, Italian powerhouse Pallacanestro Varese.
More news and details on the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Final can be found here.