Acrobatics. Slam dunks. Dance. Blocked shots. Kiss Cam. Assists. Circus moments. Crossovers. Music. Game winners. Basketball showtime. It was quite difficult for anyone to choose their preferred moment from the FIBA 3×3 U23 World Cup at the Metropolitan Circus in Bucharest.
There were so many crazy games, so many incredible shots and so many entertainment moments that were simply jaw-dropping and kept not only the audience but also the teams, the delegates in a constant wow mood.
And the finals. Oh, the finals. Who could have imagined a finish like this.
Anna Ngo Ndjock took the women French team on her shoulders and absolutely dominating the last game of the tournament. She scored a whopping 14 points, including 4 two-pointers against the US power-house led by Lexie Hull, who dominated the whole tournament with 63 points in 7 games.
While Mateusz Szlachetka probably entered a phone booth before the final and added on his gear an invisible superhero cape. Otherwise how you can explain his last minute heroics, taking his team from four down to winning the whole thing behind one of the most crazy comebacks in 3×3 history.
The crowd exploding after Szlachetka’s shot was a perfect ending of a magical story.
More than 10.000 people attended the games during the five competition days and they had plenty to enjoy beside the games and the entertainment in the arena. The fan zone basketball courts, the arcade games, the chill area, a gaming zone and a food court were part of the setup built for this event.
Also, the 3×3 official licensed shop was a premiere, having its grand opening online and onsite during the FIBA 3×3 U23 World Cup in Bucharest. Merchandise with the official 3×3 logo is now available and the fans can become part of the movement worldwide.
Slam dunk was a big part of the show in Bucharest in all forms.
Face Team, the acrobatic dunk crew from Hungary came out with a complete show that included not only crazy dunks but also 3D court projections.
While the athletes from Dunk Elite absolutely electrified the crowd with their jumping skills and left lots of people shaking their heads in disbelief like “how is this even possible?” mainly after the slow motion replays on the giant screen.
Fans were also part of the action. The joy of kids coming to the main court for contests or people showing their love or dancing skills on Kiss Cam and Dance Cam moments were completing the atmosphere.
The artists of the Metropolitan Circus took advantage of their home court and offered some incredible dreamy moments on each of the five competition days.
The show was completed by freestyle biker Gabi Orban, a Guinness World Record holder, the glowing show of Dyversy dance crew and the dancers from Ana Dance, iSports Ploiesti and Drag de Magurele crews.
FIBA 3×3 U23 World Cup was organized by the Romanian Basketball Federation and Sport Arena Streetball, with the support of the Bucharest City Hall and its Directorate for Culture and Tourism, the Ministry of Sport, the Olympic and Sports Romanian Committee and the Bucharest Airports National Company. Main partners: Mastercard, Banca Transilvania, Nike, The Group. Event partners: Regina Maria, Izvoarele Calimani, Red Bull, OHMA, Alexandrion Group, Brenntag, Horizon. Official radio: Kiss FM. Global partner: Wilson.