THE world’s biggest FIBA 3×3 tilt gets going this Saturday, Sept. 23, at the SM Seaside City Cebu.
For hoops-crazy fans, these players are certainly can’t miss.
1. Strahinja Stojacic (Ub Huishan NE)
No stranger to playing in Masters held in the Philippines, the world’s No. 1 3×3 player is once again expected to dazzle locals when he performs in front of the Cebuano audience for the first time.
Stojacic is undoubtedly one of the most accomplished 3×3 players of his time, and he will look to lead his Ub Huishan NE side to a seventh Masters crown this season.
2. Jimmer Fredette (Miami)
Easily one of the most recognizable figures in the sport today, the former NBA pro has embraced 3×3 basketball and has become one of its key players not just for the United States but also in the pro circuit scene.
Fredette is currently the No. 28-ranked player in the world and boasts of a resume that includes a FIBA 3×3 AmeriCup gold medal and a FIBA 3×3 World Cup silver medal for his squad.
It will be his first time in the Philippines, so expect “Jimmermania” to be unleashed in Cebu this weekend.
3. Worthy de Jong (Amsterdam HiPRO)
It’s hard to miss de Jong with his signature long wavy hair, but the top-ranked player in the Netherlands isn’t just about looks.
Currently No. 4 in the world, the 35-year-old veteran led his team to a second-place finish in the Marseilles Masters.
The last time he was in the country, Amsterdam HiPRO finished fifth in Manila, which is motivation for him to add more trophies to his club’s closet this season.
4. Thibaut Vervoort (Futian)
The No. 19-ranked player in the world and No. 4-ranked Belgian national, Vervoort is out to win more in the Philippines after placing second in Manila last May.
He always adds a different dimension to his Futian team, and no less than Manila Chooks! will have to brace for him when they face each other in the pool phase.
5. Steve Sir (Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy)
Mongolia’s favorite elder statesman is back for one more go in Cebu. In the last few years, Sir has been instrumental in turning the country into one of the world’s formidable forces in the 3×3 scene.
Last year in the same Masters, Sir and company barged into the semifinals but fell just short of making the podium.
Now 41, the sharpshooter does not intend to stop anytime soon, and is eager to lead Mongolia’s top team to a higher finish this time around.