Emerging rivals Poland and Spain highlight Women's Series Klaipeda stop
KLAIPEDA (Lithuania) - The world fell in love with 3x3 as the Olympic debutant stole the show in Tokyo.
After the most incredible five days, where the 3x3 bandwagon is almost full, fans - old and new - will be pleased to know the action starts again on the pro circuit with the FIBA 3x3 Women's Series Klaipeda stop on July 30-31, 2021.
The eight-team field is loaded with talent and players will know they have a golden opportunity to go all the way with Women's Series power France not in the draw having competed in the Olympics as the No.1 seed.
Having dominated the 2019 campaign, France claimed titles in Voiron and Poitiers but their absence creates a lot of intrigue in what looms as an open race.
Let's take a closer look.
1. Poland; 4. USA; 5. Germany; 8. Lithuania
2. Spain; 3. Hungary; 6. Israel; 7. Austria
No.1 seed Poland have top billing and will be looking to once again shake up the Women's Series having finished runners-up in the opening stop in Mies, where Anna Pawlowska was the top scorer while Klaudia Sosnowska topped the rebounding charts.
The pair are back in Klaipeda as Poland aim to return to form after finishing seventh in Voiron.
Standing in their way could be No.2 seed Spain, who claimed their first Women's Series title with a tight 19-17 victory over Poland in the final in Mies.
Spanish star Sandra Ygueravide dominated in Mies and she hopes to replicate that form in Lithuania.
The countries will continue this emerging rivalry with Spain having also beaten Poland 17-7 at the FIBA 3x3 Europe Cup Qualifiers 2021 in Tel Aviv in May.
After showing off their WNBA stars in Tokyo, hoops power USA's depth of talent is underlined in Klaipeda with the red, white and blue boasting a line-up that can absolutely go all the way.
Cierra Burdick is a 3x3 women's pioneer having tasted the ultimate triumph with USA at the FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2014.
The dazzling 27-year-old will have plenty support from the talented Linnae Harper, who won bronze with USA at the FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2016.
No.3 seed Hungary should also be eyeing the main prize and are led by dynamic 20-year-old Orsolya Toth, who dominated the FIBA 3x3 Europe Cup 2018 with an MVP performance.
If you want a dark horse then Austria and Germany are the best bets with both improving teams reaching the quarters in Poitiers.
Austria knocked over the Netherlands in the pool stage, while Germany fell agonizingly short against France in an eye-catching effort.
Both teams will be unchanged heading to Klaipeda as they aim to make a deep run.
How to Follow
You can watch the livestream the event on the official FIBA Twitch Channel, FIBA 3x3 YouTube and Facebook pages. Make sure to follow @FIBA3x3W on Instagram as well, the official women's account of FIBA 3x3.