Latvia's Riga leaned on Karlis Lasmanis down the stretch to take down Serbia's Liman and rule the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Doha Masters on Saturday in Qatar.
Riga was down 20-15 before mounting a thrilling comeback, capped by Lasmanis' shot from beyond the arc that gave them a 21-20 victory.
Lasmanis had a game-high 11 points in the final, but it was a team effort for Riga all weekend as sharpshooter Edgars Krumins topped all scorers (34 points in 5 games) and the speedy Nauris Miezis received the MVP trophy after leading his team in key assists, rebounds and player value.
Riga went 5-0 in the state-of-the-art Al Gharafa Sports Complex and Liman confirmed their domination on 3x3 in Doha. The two teams have combined to win all four FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters this season.
They will meet again at the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Final, which will be held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on December 18-19, 2020.
In total, twelve teams will compete in the final: Riga (LAT), Liman (SRB), NY Harlem (USA), Novi Sad (SRB), Utena Uniclub (LTU), Jeddah (KSA), Lausanne Katapult (SUI), Piran (SLO), Sakiai Gulbele (LTU), Ub (SRB), Amsterdam (NED) and Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy (MGL), who become the first-ever Mongolian team to ever reach the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Final.
Meanwhile, Manila Chooks TM finished in 11th place after bowing out in the group stages, having lost both to Liman and home squad Lusail.
The Filipinos -- Joshua Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, Troy Rike and Santi Santillan -- gave a good account of themselves against Liman, threatening the Serbian powerhouse before falling 15-22.
But they had no answers for Lusail, losing 14-19 to go 0-2 in Group A.
"No excuses," said Munzon afterward. The top-ranked Filipino scored nine points against Liman and 10 against Lusail.
In the individual contests, Chris Staples (USA) won the McDonald’s Dunk Contest while former FIBA Basketball World Cup participant Kostas Vasileiadis (from Greece, playing for Lusail, QAT) dominated the Tissot shoot-out contest.
All the health and safety measures requested by local and national authorities and the Guidelines for the Return to Basketball, developed by the FIBA Medical Advisory Group (MAG), which were successfully introduced for the FIBA 3x3 World Tour return in Debrecen, were implemented once again.