And so it all comes down to this.
The 3X3 Quest Tour will come to an end this Saturday with 8 of the best teams from around the country competing for a place on the 3X3 world stage. The World Tour Qualifier event will take place at the Cloud down on the Auckland waterfront with play tipping off at 12pm.
The winners of Saturday’s event will earn themselves a place at the 3X3 World Tour Finals event to be held in Japan later in the year. Not only will that team have the opportunity to test themselves against some of the world’s best, they will do so representing their region and their country.
The trip is fully funded and is growing each year now that 3x3 basketball will be part of the Olympic Games. The stakes are high and the teams will come ready to fight for the top spot in New Zealand 3X3 basketball.
Over the last few months the Quest Tour has travelled round New Zealand hosting events in Invercargill, Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Hamilton, Tauranga and across Auckland to find the best 3X3 talent New Zealand has to offer. It is fair to say the Tour has lived up to expectation.
Team PM won the first event in Tauranga and will look to be in the mix when it comes to semi-final time. Karl Noyer, New Zealand’s number two ranked 3X3 player will be looking to go one place better than his second place finish last year and his team PM will be one to watch.
Other Auckland based team, Flying Kiwis will be a tough match up for any team. They were the only team to win two events on the Tour, taking out the South Auckland event as well as the recent event in Henderson.
Wellington contenders, TOA will add a youthful flavour to the finals event and will be tested against more experienced opposition. In saying that, they proved themselves more than capable dominating the event in the Capital.
Last year’s Tertiary 3X3 Champs, Lincoln University will be one to watch after they cruised through their home event. With a well-established style of play and the leadership of the Williams brothers, they could be the dark horse of the event.
Team Briggs could also emerge as a contender. They were consistent performers throughout the Quest Tour and after taking out the Hamilton event will know they have what it takes to win the event if they perform well.
Wildcard entries include Team E.L.E and Triple B, both of which hail from the Auckland region.
The event will be live streamed on the Basketball New Zealand Facebook page from 11.45am on Saturday morning.
The Open Men’s grade will not be the only event on show on Saturday. There are a number of other grades that still have spaces available. Playing at the Cloud is a unique opportunity and not one to be missed, so if you’re up for some 3X3 on Saturday it’s not too late to register!
View the draw here