© Sports Report
After an impressive first day at the 3×3 Challenger Championship in Novi Sad (SRB), Team Vienna were eliminated in the quarter-finals.
Austria’s 3×3 leaders marched through Friday’s qualifying and group stage at 35 degrees with four wins – including a win over Aube, currently the undisputed number one in the world! But on Saturday, they had to pay tribute to the hard day ahead of the match against a very strong Sakiai team from Lithuania.
However, the conclusion after the fifth place is positive: because the performance curve points in the right direction – coach Stefan Stojacic returned impressively on the field.
“I’m sad because it wasn’t enough for more in the end,” Stojacic said after the defeat to Sakaya in the 12:15 minute. Understandably, after an unusual first day, everything is set for a true sports fairy tale. In his hometown of Novi Sad, Stojacic led the Vienna team with Philip Kramer, Mathias Lenortner and Martin Termal on his comeback after a nearly year-long injury during the qualifying phase and group stage. The team showed, especially in the match against their fellow countrymen from Ub, dominant on the World Tour, that in this constellation everyone can be beaten. 21:19 Vienna won this match.
“We played well on the first day, the energy level was high,” Stojacic analyzes. It was exactly that level of energy that couldn’t be maintained after four tough games at 35 degrees on Saturday. “We felt it already in the morning, and then we were at the same level in front of the saki for the first five minutes. Unfortunately, the shots did not fall – then we ran out of breath.” In general, Stojacic said the path was correct. “It still takes hard work and total dedication. Then we will have a lot of fun.”
In any case, the focus is now clearly on the World Championships, which will be held in Antwerp from June 21-26. Which means that Stojacic’s role will shift to the sidelines in the next two weeks. As a Serbian, a 3×3 star is of course ineligible to play for the national team.
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