The third leg of the 3x3 Quest Tour has been claimed by some familiar faces to the basketball circuit, including a New Zealand 3x3 representative and a New Zealand Breakers’ development player.
Team Flying Kiwis won the final 19 to 15, taking their revenge against team Briggs. The last time these two teams met on the Tour in December, Briggs knocked out the Flying Kiwis in the playoff rounds. They went on to be runners up at the North Shore leg.
The Flying Kiwis may have had the upper hand this time after drafting in Mitchell Newton. Better known a development player for the New Zealand Breakers and a member of NZNBL’s Southland Sharks. Newton claimed victory with 3x3 regular Rory Fannon, who most recently represented New Zealand at the 3x3 Asia Cup in the Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in October 2017. The 30 year old Fannon is also ranked as the Number One New Zealand player on play.fiba3x3.com with 231000 ranking points, which is FIBA’s global 3x3 platform.
Newton and Fannon were helped by the rising Dominique Kelman-Poto who is back from College in the US, and Karl Magon. The Flying Kiwis have been unlucky not take out previous of the legs of the tour, having been threatening a podium finish in previous events.
Fannon has been impressed with the level of competition on this year’s Tour and noted the effect it’s had on their team.
“Each year we’re trying to get better as team. This year is probably the strongest group we’ve had. Having Mitch Newton from the Breakers means we just need to put a good supporting cast around him.
“3X3 is definitely on the rise in New Zealand, today there were a number of really competitive teams which means the standard is good.”
The victors of Week Two, The Den, struggled at Bruce Pulman Arena this weekend. The Den was without their NZNBL big man and former Tall Black BJ Anthony, leaving Marco Alexander, Jaylen Gerrand and Patrich Bolstad to play all the minutes on court. Although they managed to beat the Flying Kiwis in the early rounds, they were knocked back by team Briggs (13 – 18) and team NLBNZ rostering Denis Xhiha, Lis Haraqia, Myles Pinono and Yaran Ghassemi.
Leg One’s winner, team PM (Precision Movement) has struggled to find their first week’s form against The Den, Briggs and the Flying Kiwis, losing all of those games in South Auckland by close margins.
These four teams have established themselves as the Auckland region’s contenders for the overall title. The last leg of the tour is the 3x3 Quest Tour’s World Masters Qualifier, which will be held at The Cloud in Auckland on 10 March 2018. The winners of that will win a trip to Japan to compete in the FIBA World Tour Masters, where they will compete against some of the top 3x3 professional players in the world. Yet despite playing in two finals, a qualifying title is still eluding team Briggs. They may have to travel out of Auckland if they want to claim an all-important qualification spot.
Perhaps Briggs will travel to Hamilton for the fourth leg this Sunday. After that the tour heads south, with stops in Wellington, Invercargill, Dunedin, Christchurch. Or Briggs might wait for the last Auckland stop that offers qualification at Trust’s Arena in Auckland on 3 March. All the winning teams from the 2017/18 tour will meet at The Cloud with their eyes on the big prize, vying for a chance to experience FIBA’s professional 3x3 circuit as a wild card team in Japan.
The 3x3 Quest Tour is also open to all different ages, grades and genders. It is free to enter. Go HERE
for more information.
Players must register on play.fiba3x3.com, where they can enter events, track their results and compare their ranking to their friend’s and other 3x3 players internationally. It’s essential that all players have an official play.fiba3x3.com profile when they play in the Tour. Creating a profile is easy and only takes about three minutes. Once you’ve created a play.fiba3x3.com account, respond to the confirmation email, register for an event, and you’re ready to play.
Final Results of the South Auckland leg of the 3x3 Quest Tour:
Open Men’s Winners – Flying Kiwis:
• DOMINIQUE KELMAN-POTO
• KARL MAGON
• MITCHELL NEWTON
• RORY FANNON
Junior Mixed Winners - Knights West:
• RIANA MATISENI
• GABRIEL REMEDIOS
• RYAN FABIAN
U17 Mixed Winners - LMC:
• MYSHAAN KOMENE
• CALEB SMILER
• LIVI HIRAWANU
U19 Male Winners - Blocboyz
• VLAD ZENIN
• CAREW CHAMBERLIN
• CZAR MONTECILLO
3X3 Quest Tour Schedule:
Date | Region | Venue
• Sat 9 Dec 2017 | Tauranga | Mount Maunganui Netball centre
• Sat 16 Dec 2017 | Auckland - Takapuna | North Shore Events Centre
• Sat 20 Jan 2018 | Auckland - Mangere | Mangere Otahuhu Netball Centre
• Sun 28 Jan 2018 | Hamilton | Garden Place and Civic Square
• Sat 10 Feb 2018 | Wellington | Odlins Plaza
• Sat 17 Feb 2018 | Invercargill | Stadium Southland
• Sun 18 Feb 2018 | Dunedin | The Octagon
• Sat 24 Feb 2018 | Christchurch | Hagley Park Netball Courts
• Sat 3 Mar 2018 | Auckland - Henderson | Trusts Arena
• Sat 10 Mar 2018 | Auckland - CBD | The Cloud*
* This event will be both a normal 3x3 Quest Tour event, except for the Open Men's grade – only Open Men’s grade teams that have qualified through previous tour events can play in the World Tour Qualifier Final at The Cloud on 10 March.
• Follow the event on Basketball New Zealand’s Social media accounts: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter