At the core of one of 3×3’s biggest success stories, Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy always appeared destined to make the World Tour’s biggest stage.
And the Mongolian team will fulfil their wish when they make their historic debut at the Jeddah Final on December 18-19. They are the first team from Mongolia to ever make the season decider.
It was a nervous wait for them during the recently concluded Doha Masters after finishing 11th on the World Tour standings following 3×3’s return in Hungary. The top 10 teams had already qualified for Jeddah but Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy – who didn’t play in Doha – had to rely on the right results to ensure they received a ticket.
Fortunately for them and 12th ranked Amsterdam, none of the possible contenders made the required semi-finals ensuring Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy ticked another impressive box for 3×3’s Cinderella story Mongolia.
With a population of just three million, the North East Asian country is a stellar No.7 on the combined 3×3 rankings and the women’s team last year directly qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.
Mongolia is traditionally known for producing athletes for individual events, especially combat sports but the women’s 3×3 team made history by becoming the country’s first sports team to qualify for the Olympics.
Mongolia’s men’s team won the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup 2017 on home soil and were runners-up the following two years.
The continual success of Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy on the World Tour over the past three years has been important for the growth of 3×3 in Mongolia. (FiFA)