Team Al Wahda Novi Sad from UAE won the fourth edition of the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Final that took place in Abu Dhabi, on 15-16 October 2015. For two days 3×3 basketball was the heart and soul of Abu Dhabi and the venue built from the scratch in front of Nation Towers attracted more than 5000 people in both days of the competition.
Dusan Domovic Bulut was unstoppable for Al Wahda and received the Most Valuable Player, after he led all scorers of the tournament with 42 points in 5 games. He made two amazing plays in the semifinals against Trbovlje. Bulut hit one two pointer plus the foul to send the game into overtime where he nailed another long distance shot for the win, final score 16-14.
In the final, the reigning champions retained their title after a tough battle against another Slovenian team, Kranj, the final score being 17-14.
The award ceremony was officiated by H.E. Aref Al Awani, general secretary of Abu Dhabi Sport Council, H.E. Ismail Al Gergawi, president of the UAE Basketball Association, Mr . Hamane Niang, president of FIBA Africa and H.E. Talal Al Hashemi, director of sports affairs from Abu Dhabi Sports Council.
Another reigning champ kept his crown in Abu Dhabi. Polish professional dunker Rafal ‘Lipek’ Lipinski (Poland) made history by winning the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Mercedes-Benz – Emirates Motor Company dunk title for the fourth straight year. He edged out social media superstar Jordan ‘Mission Impossible’ Kilganon (Canada) in the final. Derek Griffin (Denver) – a member of the exclusive group of 12 players who played in all four editions of the FIBA 3×3 World Tour – won the Abu Dhabi Sports Council Shoot-Out Contest.
Novi Sad Al Wahda took home the US $30,000 winning prize and an automatic berth for the FIBA 3×3 All Stars while Kranj won US $20,000. Third-place NY Harlem (USA) earned US $16,000. Trbovlje got $12,000 after finishing fourth. Ljubljana (SLO) were rewarded with US $10,000 for their fifth place and Manila North (PHI) were the sixth and last team to earn prize money (US $8,000) at the event.
People had plenty of activities also outside the arena, with a kids area available free of charge, a Nike Basketball stand where people could win the new LeBron James basketball shoes and with a playground court for all the basketball lovers from Abu Dhabi.
A packed arena with more than one hour to the start of the competition and an amazing crowd that created a great atmosphere during the games, contributed to a successful event that creates a strong legacy for the years to come.
Abu Dhabi proved to be a true capital of basketball and this will continue also next year, when the city will host again the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Final.
Final Standings of the 2015 FIBA 3×3 World Tour Final:
1. Novi Sad Al Wahda (UAE)
2. Kranj (SLO)
3. NY Harlem (USA)
4. Trbovlje (SLO)
5. Ljubljana (SLO)
6. Manila North (PHI)
7. Rio (BRA)
8. Denver (USA)
9. Doha (QAT)
10. Kolobrzeg (POL)
11. Vilnius (LTU)
12. Santos (BRA)
Sport Arena was one of the main organizers of the event, after successfully delivered the first FIBA Endorsed popular competitions in UAE in 2015, the Abu Dhabi 3×3 Tour and Abu Dhabi 3×3 Challenger, both part of the FIBA 3×3 Competition Network with the World Tour qualifier status.