The FIBA 3×3 Nations League 2022 worldwide marathon continues this weekend in the Romanian capital, Bucharest, in the event supported by the District 2 City Hall and organized in Veranda Mall.
Less than one week after we found out the first two teams qualified for Constanta Final (Mongolia men and Japan women), another two will book their ticket right on the Romanian soil.
The U21 East Conference will kick-off on Friday, with Lithuania as top seed in Bucharest. Augustinas Mikstas and Gabrielius Celka are quite familiar with the surroudings as they played also last year in Bucharest, during the NL Final. This season the men team from the baltic country won one stop and finished third on the other two, on their home court in Kaunas. The women team was a little bit more productive, with two wins and a third place.
Martin Svoboda, one of the rising stars of Czech 3×3 basketball had some impressive games last year in Bucharest, when he lead his team to two wins in three stops. They have the same record also this year in Kaunas and are in the driving seat, heading to Constanta Final. Svoboda tops all scorers after the first three stops, with 58 points. Czechia women team missed the podium in all the Kaunas stops.
With some up and down evolution in Kaunas, both Polish U21 teams are looking to find their rythm in Bucharest. The men went two times in the final, losing both times to Lithuania and Czechia, respectively. The women impressed at the start of the season, winning the first stop in Kaunas, but didn’t reach the podium in the next two.
Austria was never considered a favorite in this Conference, but might be the dark horse in Bucharest. The men team won just a single games in the last two stops, after reaching the final in the first day, while the women team made step by step progress, from the 6th place, to the third and then second. Will they manage to have their maiden win in Bucharest?
The local favorites, Romania, must rely heavily on the crowd support. The women team lead by Maria Militaru (7th in the scoring rankings with 38 points) managed to reach the podium two times in Kaunas, while the men team is looking for their first win this season in Bucharest.
With only one win so far, Estonia men need a miracle in Bucharest in order to reach their first ever final. The women team, lead by top scorer Marie Sepp (55 points) reach the final in their first stop of the season, but went winless on the other two tries in Kaunas.