Sport Arena was celebrating in 2015 its tenth year of existence as a promoter of 3×3 basketball and it was not better way to show respect for the game than to provide top class competitions for everyone and everywhere.
It was by far the busiest year for Sport Arena team with seven competitions organized and a total of 29 tournaments with more than 8000 players involved, on two continents.
The spring season saw the Sport Arena debut in United Arab Emirates, where two competitions, Abu Dhabi 3×3 Basketball Tour and Abu Dhabi Challenger received the qualifier status for the FIBA 3×3 World Tour. Both represented a total novelty for UAE, and were just the pavement set for the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Final that was about to take place later in October.
Both Abu Dhabi 3×3 Basketball Tour and Challenger were a massive success. More than 1000 players registered in total for a Tour that had four stops and a final. More than 500 3×3 basketball games were played during a span of three months. The season ended in style, with the first ever sport event held in the luxurious Yas Mall, on Yas Island, the Abu Dhabi 3×3 Challenger.
The best teams from Europe and Middle East headed to Abu Dhabi and battled to gain the tickets for Beijing World Tour Masters, while top class entertainers, as Da Move Crew from Italy, energized a crowd that measured more than 3000 people for both days of the competition.
For the spring-summer season the Sport Arena team was back in Romania and took the 3×3 basketball to all levels. Sprite Streetball Battle, a high-school dedicated competition, with a total of 15 tournaments, The University 3×3 Championship together with the already traditional Sport Arena Streetball and Raiffeisen Bank Bucharest Challenger filled the calendar.
Sprite Streetball Battle was a real caravan with stops in 12 high-schools from Bucharest for the preliminary round, a semifinal round held in Mega Mall, the newest shopping center in town and a final held in the already iconic University Square, the place that featured in a Sports Illustrated column about 3×3 basketball in 2013.
The University 3×3 Championship offered the winners a chance to travel to the FISU 3×3 Basketball University Championships in Belgrade, where the Romanian women national team took home the silver medals.
Sport Arena Streetball proved once again to be one of the most popular 3×3 competitions in the world, with an average of 600 players registered for every tournament. The winner of Sport Arena Streetball traveled to Lausanne, for the FIBA 3×3 World Tour, but for the first time in four years the Romanian team failed to qualify for the big final.
The already mentioned University Square was once more the perfect stage for the best 3×3 players in Europe and not only, during the Raiffeisen Bank Bucharest Challenger. For the first time in the history of the competitions a non-European team took part, and it was coming straight away from Brazil, home of the next Olympic Games and a popular 3×3 country.
And then it was only about FIBA 3×3 World Tour Final in Abu Dhabi. Surfing on new territories and trying to bring the 3×3 basketball joy in the hearts of people from Abu Dhabi and UAE it was a real challenge.
But the outcome rose way above the expectations as the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Final was, by many, the greatest 3×3 event ever. A joint venture between Abu Dhabi Sports Council, UAE Basketball Association, Extra International Sport and Sport Arena, all acting together as the local organizing committee, brought up to light a tremendous event.
A huge crowd, a great location, a well-developed set-up, offering everybody a chance to have fun during both days of the event, all these contributed to the success of the event, praised both by the local leaders and by the FIBA representatives.
Beside all these events, Sport Arena team members provided support during following international events: FIBA 3×3 Oceania Championships 2015 (Australia) and FISU 3×3 World Championships 2015 (China)
Always in search for new opportunities to spread the love for 3×3 basketball, Sport Arena team is ready to work for the continuous developing of this discipline also in 2016. Being now in search for its highest goals, entering the Olympic program, 3×3 basketball can reach new heights this year and we will make sure that we will bring our knowledge and passion into this game.