The best 3on3 players from around the world will follow the Moskva this Saturday although not down to Gorky Park, as per the 80's hit ballad, but to Luzhniki Stadium.
The historical sport venue, right by the Moscow river, will provide the stage for the sixth edition of the biggest, most prestigious 3on3 event on global scale, the Moscow Open.
|Five thousand US dollars await the Moscow Open dunk contest winner, but first he will have to impress a demanding audience that is by now used to see only the very best in the world. Photo: Ivan Korzhenevskiy|
The Moscow Open list of participants includes 16 of the top teams in the world, coming from 12 European countries and the USA.
The stakes could not be higher this year, with the winning team receiving a 20 thousand US dollars prize while the dunk contest winner will receive a prize of five thousand US dollars.
The Moscow Open is organised by the Streetbasket Association of Russia (SBA), which is the 3on3 arm of the Russian Basketball Federation (RBF).
"During the first Moscow Open, in 2007 nobody thought that five years later the rivalry for participation in our tournament would be so high," said SBA President Sergey Baidakov.
"We had to refuse many teams, because we can only choose the best."
But what does the Moscow Open aspire to and what was the organizers' recipe for reaching the top in such a short period of time?
"We would like to inspire young people to play basketball, to practice and progress. There are lots of factors of success in this process: you need high quality courts, competitive tournaments and of course the players, the heroes," Mr Baidakov explained.
MOSCOW OPEN PARTICIPANTS
1. Russian 3on3 Champions (to be decided on 27/07)
3. Armet (Latvia)
4. Bwin.com (Slovenia)
5. STATIST (Croatia)
7. OLIMP (Serbia)
8. Carpathian Bears (Romania)
9. Czech Republic
10. OPEN RUN ELITE (The Netherlands)
11. Ghetto Family (Latvia)
12. VANGUPE (Lithuania)
13. Sprite (Estonia)
14. FISB STREETBALL (Italy)
15. Team Nike (USA)
16. Project Vertical (USA)
For more information on the big event, visit www.moscow-open.com