On Saturday Flying Kiwis became the first team to win two Quest events this season. In the last event before the finals weekend at the Cloud in Auckland, Flying Kiwis flexed their 3X3 power against some familiar opposition. The event was the last opportunity for teams to qualify for what should be a 3X3 spectacle on the Auckland waterfront this weekend.
Flying Kiwis, made up of the same four that took out the third stop of the Quest Tour at the Bruce Pulman back in January, won all 7 of their games but were made to work hard at times. They had a competitive semi final against Team ELE, walking away 16 - 13 winners before a tough final encounter against PM which ended 14 - 12.
Flying Kiwis benefitted from a star studded line up which included Breakers development squad member, Mitchell Newton. Newton was supported by 3X3 New Zealand representative Rory Fannon as well as Karl Magon and Dominique Kelman – Poto. They will head into this week primed and ready to challenge for the Quest title and a place in Japan at the World Tour Masters event.
Basketball New Zealand’s, David Huxford was excited to get to Auckland in anticipation of the finals weekend coming up this week.
“You could tell the finals are next week. Everyone came out to play and they played hard. Teams will want to be peaking for next weekend and it definitely looked like that was the approach out on court.”
These thoughts were echoed by Quest Tour event team veteran Mitchell Langton who felt the competition went up a notch.
“It’s probably one of the most competitive events we’ve had all tour. Everyone was out fighting tooth and nail to earn their place in the finals weekend. It made for entertaining basketball”
The Tour now heads to central Auckland where the Cloud will play host to the finals weekend. Winners of all previous events have been invited back to compete for a place in Japan at the FIBA World Tour Masters event where they will represent New Zealand. Some of New Zealand’s best 3X3 exponents will strut their stuff in pursuit of a place at the high class, fully funded international event.
The open men’s grade will not be the only basketball on show on Saturday. Anyone can enter and be part of the day so if you’re in the Auckland region, enjoy 3X3 and want to rub shoulders with some of the New Zealand’s best, register now for this weekend’s final event!
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 Auckland (Henderson) leg of the 3x3 Quest Tour:
Open Men’s Grade – Winners: Flying Kiwis
• Dominique Kelman - Poto
• Mitchell Newton
• Rory Fannon
Open Women’s Grade – Winners: The Boondocks
• Chevannah Paalvast
• Stevee – Rose Theyers
• Milomilo Nanai
U19 Male – Winners: noStaches
• Joe Wuthrich
• Dylan Wilkie
• Ryan Reader
U17 Male – Winners: Looney Toon Squad
• Antonio Aziziyan
• Jordan Papa – Mita
• Miguel Gabenciong
• Sione Hola
* 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