MOSCOW (3x3) - Russia's capital of Moscow is all set to stage the second edition of the FIBA 3x3 World Championships, which will see 24 men's and 24 women's team go toe-to-toe in Luzhniki Park on the Sport Court basketball courts, #OfficialCourt of FIBA 3x3.
The Denver Nuggets big man acknowledged his country will feature a talented team: "I know Alexandr Pavlov (as) we used to play on the same team. He is big and he can shoot. I am also familiar with Ilya Alexandrov who played with my brother. He is big and strong and can easily jump and dunk over people."
To the other 34 countries present at the event, Mozgov also warned: "Russian fans are crazy. You have to know a little bit about the Russian culture to understand them but they are the best fans in the world."
With this and following on a strong preparation, the lanky Maria Cherepanova was quick to say that the host country's women's team was "not afraid of anyone."
However, it will be no easy task for her team to please the local fans as the reigning world champs from the USA brought a team of skilled college stars, spearheaded by the speedy Jewell Loyd. The Czech Republic called up several Olympians and five-time European Player of the Year Ann Wauters. The towering Belgian (1.95m) featured on our list of 10 women to watch at the 2014 FIBA 3x3 World Championships.
The men's tournament will be loaded as well with the Serbian world champions back to defend their title after their success in Athens two years ago. Their leader Dusan Domovic Bulut has already warned he is not going back to Serbia if he doesn't win another gold medal. The #2 seed Romania will bolster an ambitious team according to 3x3 legend Angel Santana. The number one player in the 3x3 Individual World Ranking, Blaz Cresnar, will look to add another silverware in the trophy cabinet. He naturally featured on our list of 10 men to watch at the 2014 FIBA 3x3 World Championships.
The 48 teams were divided into four pools of six teams each (for both categories) for the pool stage, played in a standard round-robin format. The four best qualify for the knock-out stage, starting at the last 16 phase.
On top of an exciting tournament, fans and players will also be able to experience the Skills Contest, the Free-Throw Pursuit, the Samsung Shoot-Out and the Nike Dunk Contest. DJs and MCs will add to the urban festival atmosphere that has become synonymous with 3x3.
All games and individual contests played on Court 1 will be streamed live on 3x3's official YouTube channel www.youtube.com/3x3planet.com.
The best dunks, tricks, buzzer-beaters and other candies will be featured in a daily Top 5 and recap video.
To follow the action on social media, players and fans worldwide are using the official hashtag of the competition, #3x3WC.
3x3's official Twitter account, @3x3planet provides an exclusive coverage of the 2014 FIBA 3x3 World Championships.