Red Bull King of the Rock 2013

Battles to find the toughest streetballers in the land took place in Vienna, Salzburg and Graz.

Competitors - Action Aron Suveg - Red Bull Content Pool

The Red Bull King of the Rock made its first stop in Austria is it looks for cellmates for the world final in America. Battles to find the toughest streetballers in the land took place in Vienna, Salzburg and Graz before the top 32 in Austria faced off to crown the king. Along with that honor, the winner of the Austrian tournament qualifies for the world final on The Rock - the infamous prison island of Alcatraz. In the end Austrian Bundesliga pro Toni Blazan won an enthralling contest and will fly the flag for Austria in San Francisco.

After the excitement of the qualifiers, which took place across Austria in the last four weeks, it all came to a big showdown for the Red Bull King of the Rock crown in Vienna. The top 32 Austrians met at streetball courts under a Danube bridge to play in groups to reach the last 16. Only the best two in each group were to qualify for the main event in the evening at Vienna’s Semper Depot.

The courageous streetballers provided some tough physical clashes before things really took off at the last-16 stage. They were playing for a highly coveted spot after all in the world final of the Red BullKing of the Rock, the already legendary one-on-one streetball event.  The brutally tough knockout matches were conducted under the simple rule of ‘win or go home’. Until there were only two left that was -Toni Blazan, who normally shoots hoops for UBC St. Pölten in the Austrian Bundesliga, and on the other side regional league basketball player Sebastian Laimböck. Both began at the Salzburg qualifiers and now in Vienna it would be the end of the road for one of them.

As soon as the final started the spectators could barely be contained at the Semper Depot. Excited by the audience and encouraged by the laid-back banter from the commentator, Jojo, the players pushed their boundaries. In the end, Salzburg-born Toni Blazan took an 18-10 win. A mixture of power moves under the basket and a steady hand behind the three-point line saw Blazan dominate his opponent and be crowned as Red Bull King of the Rock inAustria.

Toni Blazan could barely believe his victory, saying: “It is just a superb feeling and something that I have never dreamed of. The whole event is structured superbly and the locations are all absolutely unique. For Alcatraz my goal first and foremost is to win at least one round, whatever happens.”

The battle is now over and Austria has its representative for Alcatraz. Toni Blazan will take part in the Red Bull King of theRock world final across the coast from San Francisco on 28 September against the winners from 23 countries, as well as 20 winners from US states.


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