|07 August 2011|
FIBA Europe 3on3
The 3on3 crew set about disassembling in the early hours of Sunday the courts, tribunes and all the equipment they had set up only three days earlier in the centre of Ljubljana, under the watchful eye of passers-by that were up early for their morning walk.
The task the joint FIBA Europe and Slovenian Federation crew was facing, to return in only a few hours Prešernov Square and its surroundings to their previous form, before they were taken over by the 3on3 mini-town, was a considerably tiring one.
It felt considerably lighter though every time they caught the grateful look in the eyes of a passer-by.
|Never a dull moment in Ljubljana as the cheerleaders made sure there was always entertainment for the crowd, during the short breaks of on-court action |
On Sunday morning in downtown Ljubljana, one could almost sense in the air that a two-day long, fantastic party has just ended and the Slovene capital residents are still trying to absorb all the images and emotions they experienced during the festivities.
"Our principal aim is to bring basketball to the people," FIBA Europe Secretary General Nar Zanolin had said on the eve of the event.
One can safely now declare the mission accomplished, in every possible way.
An estimated 5,000 people visited the square over the course of the two days the 1st FIBA Europe 3on3 lasted, to watch the games or take part in the numerous happenings.
To them, whether they were already basketball fans or not, it sure felt as a great party.
There was something in store for everyone, from toddlers that bounced a basketball for the very first time in the Playful Basketball specially made playground, to teenagers, who took to the courts from early morning until late evening, to street entertainment acts for adults.
Slovenia Basketball Federation President Roman Volčič thanked FIBA Europe for providing the city with the great opportunity to host the highly successful 1st FIBA Europe 3on3, on behalf of the entire city.
|Three bridges surround Prešernov Square, which sits in between the two riverbanks of the Ljubljanica river and was, quite fittingly, transformed into 3on3 Square during two magical days |
As for the official competition part itself, the participation figures exceeded every expectation.
A total of 320 players on 64 teams took to the court during the two days the 1st FIBA Europe 3on3 lasted. Four Women's teams, 12 Children's teams, 16 Junior Men's teams, 24 Senior Men's teams and 12 International Teams battled it out in the various categories of the Slovenia Open and the International Tournament.