The youth of Bucharest loves 3on3 basketball and was looking forward to having great fun at the FIBA Europe 3on3 tournament at the weekend.
They were so determined in fact, that a few (or more...) drops of rain were not going to stop them.
The chosen stage could not have been better, but the omens were unfavourable since the beginning.
The FIBA Europe 3on3 trucks arrived at Bucharest's Revolution square on Wednesday morning.
|Rain? What rain? We came here to play 3on3 basketball and that's what we're going to do!|
In the midst of some of Bucharest's most emblematic buildings, the former Royal Palace (now National Museum of Art), the Athenaeum, the Athénée Palace Hotel and the University Library, the specialised 3on3 crew started setting up the courts under constant rainfall, which did not stop until late in the night.
Thursday, the first day of competition, saw more of the same.
Rain was so intense that cancelling the games seemed inevitable.
But where there is will, there is a way. With the support of the Romanian Basketball Federation, 130 children moved into an indoor gym and the competition tipped off there.
|Despite the bad weather, more than 15,000 spectators made their way to Revolution Square to watch the games|
As soon as it stopped raining, at around 4pm, everyone moved back to the 3on3 venue and had an Open Court Day for the children and whoever else wanted to join until 8 in the evening.
On Friday, the weather conditions were slightly more favourable and the games could start at 3pm.
|Thanks to a Special Olympics Romania initiative, a promotional game for athletes with Down Syndrome took place for the first time in the 3on3 Tour|
It was the day of the U8 and U12 Boys and Girls tournaments, while there was also a Celebrity Game with the participation of former Romania national team captains Horia Paun and Svetlana Dragusin, former international Hristu Sapera, pop singer Vlad Mirita, actor Bogdan Jianu, and six-time world champion in karate Vasile Lupasc.
Timing could not have been better as it started pouring down more or less at the final buzzer of the last game, at 8pm.
On Saturday the games started at 10am and action came to a stop ar 6:30 pm due to heavy rainfall.
The day saw the Group games in most age categories, including U14 Boys, U16 Boys, U18 Boys, Senior Men, University Men and University Women.
|A total of 142 teams partipated in the event, most of them made up of young children - Victory is so much sweeter when you've also had to beat the elements of nature to achieve it!|
Entertainment was provided throughout the day by the Mini Blockbusters (a break-dancing group of 9- and 10-year olds), the Blockbusters Crew and the DJ Chronic crew.
The FIBA Europe 3on3 crew, the staff of all the organisers, the Romanian Basketball Federation, Student Sport Romania, Special Olympics Romania and the non-profit organisation Motivation, but most of all the youth of Bucharest, were rewarded for their persistence on Sunday.
The day of the big Finals was also the only completely dry day of the tournament, which could hardly have been more successful.
Despite the bad weather conditions, a total of 142 teams took part, while more than 15,000 fans made their way to Revolution Square over the course of the four days to watch the games.
The next FIBA Europe 3on3 event is on 16 and 17 June in Prague.
The Czech capital event will include the National 3on3 Finals, together with the CBF and CSF (Streetball Mania) tournaments.
Bucharest 3on3 Tournament Finals List
U8 Girls: 4 participating teams, ‘Winners' defeated ‘Scool Nr.11'.
U8 Boys: 4 participating teams, ‘Slam Roby' defeated ‘Baby Slam'.
U10 Girls: 4 participating teams, ‘Yoopi defeated ‘Blondele'.
U10 Boys: 12 participating teams, ‘Sportic Fagaras' defeated ‘Baby Laguna'.
U12 Girls: 4 participating teams, ‘BC Star' defeated ‘White Ninja'.
U12 Boys: 12 participating teams, ‘Spartanii' defeated ‘Piticii Ataca'.
U14 Girls: 4 participating teams, ‘BC Star' defeated ‘CSS4'.
U14 Boys: 10 participating teams, ‘Sharks' defeated ‘Laguna'.
U16 Boys: 10 participating teams, Bahoi defeated ‘BT Craiova'.
U18 Men: 10 participating teams, ‘Macelarii' defeated ‘Romanii'.
+18 Men: 40 participatig teams, ‘Choco Loco' defeated ‘Echipa'.
+18 Women: 8 participating teams, ‘Pufoseniile Brenntag‘ defeated ‘Lupisorii'.
+35 Men: 8 participating teams, ‘Leii' defeated ‘Make and friends'
University Men National Finals: 8 Teams, ‘Universitatea l. Balaga, Sibiu' defeated Medicina si farmacie Bucuresti. (MVP: Dianescu Victor)
University Women National Finals: 8 Teams, ‘Universitatea Crestina D. Cantemir' defeated ‘Vest Timisoara' (MVP: Adina Stoiedin).
There were 90 participants in the 3-point contest, with Zidaru Cristian prevailing in the women and Zarojanu Andrei winning the men's competition.