ABU DHABI (FIBA 3x3 World Tour) – Novi Sad Al Wahda (UAE) successfully defended their FIBA 3x3 World Tour title after defeating Kranj (SLO) (17-14) in the title game in Abu Dhabi on 15-16 October.
Number one 3x3 player in the world Dusan Domovic Bulut lived up to his reputation in the United Arab Emirates capital leading all scorers with 42 points and winning MVP honours.
He had a game-high 8 points in the championship game, which his team dominated from the early start. It was the third straight year that Novi Sad Al Wahda beat Kranj at some stage of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Final. The sharpshooting Dejan Majstorovic contributed 6 points in the game. In the losing effort, speedy playmaker Boris Jersin netted 7 points and the all-around Mensud Julevic added 5.
Kranj qualified for the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Final by winning the Prague Masters while Novi Sad Al Wahda had won two Masters in the same year in Manila and Rio de Janeiro. The fourth edition of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour featured six Masters, starting on 1-2 August in Manila and also stopping in Prague, Beijing, Lausanne, Mexico DF and Rio de Janeiro. The Final saw the top two teams of all six Masters (12 total teams).
While Novi Sad Al Wahda went undefeated in Abu Dhabi, the team had to defeat the city’s entire Filipino community which came to support Manila North and their star player Calvin 'The Beast' Abueva in the quarter-finals. In possibly even more dramatic circumstances, Bulut’s men stunned Trbovlje (SLO) in the semi-finals in overtime after being down by two in the closing seconds of regulation.
Another reigning champ kept his crown in Abu Dhabi. Polish professional dunker Rafal 'Lipek' Lipinski (Poland) made history by winning the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Mercedes-Benz - EMC 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 3x3 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 3x3 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.
Final Standings of the 2015 FIBA 3x3 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)