Saskatoon falls to Novi Sad in Final, 21-11
TORONTO, ONTARIO – Team Saskatoon claimed 2nd place at the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Final in Sendai, Japan this past weekend, after falling to Team Novi Sad (Serbia) 21-11 in Sunday’s final.
Reeling off of last year’s World Tour Final first round exit, Team Saskatoon found their groove this year after winning the Basketball Alberta 3×3 Canada Quest tournament in Edmonton and earning the top spot in North America by beating Denver in the finals at the World Tour Chicago Masters.
Their impressive play was only augmented in Japan as the squad stringed together incredible victories on the first day against Pool D opponents Team Trbovlje, 21-6 and Team Kobe, 21-15.
In the playoffs, Saskatoon continued their strong run in the tournament, routing Denver in the quarterfinals 21-6 and Bucharest in the semifinals, 19-16.
It was a gutsy performance by Saskatoon in the finals, as they threw everything they had at the #1 ranked Novi Sad, but were just not able to connect on offense after a brilliant showing in the elimination rounds.
Willie Murdaugh, who made eight two-pointers in the team’s victory against Trbovlje (Slovenia), couldn’t find his offensive rhythm in the final, being held scoreless from downtown and four points overall. Michael Linklater also poured in four points, while the weekend’s slam-dunk contest finalist Michael Lieffers and O’Neil Gordon contributed two and one points respectively.
Michael Linklater was proud of his team’s performance at this year’s Finals and was honored to have represented his town and country.
“Falling short of our goal to win the tournament definitely hurts but being able to compete in the championship game of the World Tour Finals was a great experience,” said Linklater.
“Having the opportunity to represent our hometown of Saskatoon and the Country on the world stage, is a very honorable feeling and we are thankful for all the support we received from our communities and Canada basketball.”
Full Stats and photos from the FIBA World Tour Final: http://3x3worldtour.com/
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Courtesy Canada Basketball