Master Belgrade was the last team qualified for the Raiffeisen Bank Bucharest Challenger, as the Serbian 3×3 Finals were just few day prior to Bucharest tournament. But the guys from Belgrade were also the last men standing in University Square and now there are preparing to make their first appeareance in the FIBA 3×3 World Tour, in Lausanne Masters.
Bogdan Dragovic, Lazar Rasic, Nikola Vukovic and Marko Dugosija dominated in the pool round, winning all their games by comfortable margins. They kept their composure in the quarter finals as We Got Game Ploiesti gave them some hard times on the court and further on, they handled the Moscow Open winners, Ognezaschita St. Petersburg in the semifinals.
One more game, and they would have fulfilled their dreams. And this what happened after all, even the reigning champions, Palo Peak from Spain, proved to be, as usual, a very hard nut to crack. But they overcame the four two pointers of Jose Martin and with a strong game inside from Bogdan Dragovic, 8 points and Marko Dugosija, 7 points, they manage to take home the big prize.
The trophy was offered by Salem Al Mstaka, the representative of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, main partner for FIBA 3×3 World Tour Final together with Stefan Sandulache, director of the Bucharest Sports and Youth Directorate.
The Spaniards from Palo Peak Malaga had eliminated the big home crowd favorites, Team Make-A-Wish with Virgil Stanescu, former captain of the Romanian national 5on5 team and 3×3 European Champions, Angel Santana and Vasile Stefan.
After surprising anyone in the first day, with two dominating wins and then finishing the pool on the first place with three wins, Che Bar from Kosovo came out empty against Ognezaschita in the Quarter Finals, losing 7-21.
Sao Paolo DC, the first ever non-european team at Raiffeisen Bank Bucharest Challenger, couldn’t overcame the long trip to Romania and with only one pool win left the competition in the early stages.
The big show from the place called “an unusual Mecca of 3×3 Basketball” by Sports Illustrated featured a skateboarding demonstration that brought to the light a new way to dunk: straight from the skateboard! A wheelchair basketball game proved again to everybody that 3×3 can be played virtually by anyone anywhere and was a demonstration of willigness and determination.
Raiffeisen Bank Bucharest Challenger officially ended the 3×3 basketball season in Romania, the 11th consecutive one of Sport Arena, one of the most active promoters in 3×3 basketball world.