April 16, 2018 11:26 pm
Updated: April 17, 2018 2:11 pm

Team Saskatoon 3×3 opens season with Challenger win in South Korea

Team Saskatoon competes at the 2017 World Tour Masters event in Saskatoon.

File / Global News

Canada’s first national three-on-three basketball team is off to a great start in 2018.

Team Saskatoon, which has competed on the FIBA 3×3 World Tour for several years, won the first Challenger event of the season in Goyang, South Korea.

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The squad, comprised of Michael Linklater, Steve Sir, Michael Lieffers and alternate Jordan Baker – filling in for the absent Nolan Brudehl – defeated 2017 World Tour champion Zemun (Serbia) 17-11 in the final.

READ MORE: Team Saskatoon representing Canada at 2018 FIBA 3×3 World Cup

Saskatoon residents Linklater, Lieffers and Brudehl are original members of the team. Edmonton-based Sir is in his second season while fellow Edmontonian Baker was playing in his first event with the group.

Linklater earned tournament MVP honours while Baker led all scorers in the event with 34 points in five games.

Team Saskatoon has previously won two World Tour Masters events, in Chicago in 2014 and Lausanne, Switzerland in 2016, but the win in Goyang is the team’s first Challenger title.

The victory comes with a $10,000 USD prize and gives the team an automatic entry into its hometown event, the FIBA World Tour Masters tournament in Saskatoon on July 21 and 22. They finished second at the inaugural Saskatoon tournament in 2017.

READ MORE: Team Saskatoon earns berth to FIBA 3×3 world championships

Earlier this year Canada Basketball announced Team Saskatoon would be the country’s first ever representative at the FIBA 3×3 World Cup, which takes place in Manila, Philippines from June 8 to 12.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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