An encore is set.
Serbia and the Netherlands will meet for the second straight year to vie for global supremacy in the 3X3 scene, as the two European squads have made it to the FIBA 3X3 World Cup Finals, Monday at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.
The Serbians and the Dutch met in last year’s 3X3 World Cup gold medal match in Nantes, France – a match that the Dutch haven’t forgotten, as they went home with only silver medals around their necks.
The Serbians have Dejan Majstorovic to thank for the win. The cager touted as the Maestro sank an off-the-glass two-pointer from the top of the key with 1:24 left to break the 19-all deadlock and give his team the first Finals ticket.
Majstorovic’s shot proved to be the perfect finishing touch for Serbia’s comeback from six points down, 7-13, with 5:58 remaining, as the Polish shot excellently from the floor, thanks to Hicks and Pawel Pawlowski.
Dusan Bulut led Serbia with nine points. Majstorovic had six, while Marko Savic finished with five markers. Hicks anchored Poland with six points.
The Netherlands, on the other hand, overcame a tough challenge imposed by Gasper Ovnik and last year’s fourth-placer Slovenia, 21-16, to set up the rematch with the reigning, two-time 3X3 world champions.
The Dutch found it hard to pull away from the Slovenians early in the bout, but Dimeo Van Den Horst and Aron Roije linked up in the final minute by sinking a shot apiece to give the orange-clad quartet the victory.
Jesper Jobse led Netherlands with nine points. Ovnik paced Slovenia with seven markers.
The title match is set at 9PM.
SRB 21 — Bulut 9, Majstorovic 6, Savic 5, Stojacic 1.
POL 19 — Hicks 6, Pawlowski 5, Rduch 4, Sroka 4.
NED 21 — Jobse 9, Roije 6, Van der Horst 4, van Vilsteren 2.
SLO 16 — Ovnik 7, Finzgar 4, Srebovt 4, Kavgic 1.