TEAM AOTEAROA SET TO TAKE ON TOP ASIA SIDES IN 3x3 SUPER QUEST THIS WEEKEND

TEAM AOTEAROA SET TO TAKE ON TOP ASIA SIDES IN 3x3 SUPER QUEST THIS WEEKEND
Basketball New Zealand has selected a 3x3 team from participants in the 3x3 Quest Tour to represent New Zealand in the Chooks-to-Go 3x3 Super Quest event in Manilla, at the massive SM Megamall Fashion Hall, this weekend on 6-7 April, 2019.

Adam Dunstan and Chris McIntosh (both from BC Astana in Auckland) and Josh Aitcheson and Samuel Aruwa (from team Squiddies in Dunedin) were selected by a panel that included two national team coaches and a representative from BBNZ High Performance. Selections were made at the Quest Final in Auckland on 9 March.

These four players form Team Aotearoa and will take on 11 other top 3x3 teams from Asia’s top 3x3 basketball clubs or events. Australia are also sending a team called TSV Reading Cinemas, featuring D’Adrian Allen, Keegan Tudehope, Tim Coenraad and Tim Keating.

The Super Quest is a new concept for FIBA. The event will grant the top four placed teams a spot at either a FIBA World Tour or FIBA Challenger event.  FIBA sanctioned Quest Tours are the third highest level in the of 3x3 worldwide competition structure. FIBA Challenger events are the second highest and the FIBA 3x3 World Tour is in the top level.

Basketball New Zealand 3x3 Manager, David Huxford, says 3x3 the increasing number of 3x3 opportunities are due to more Federations setting up FIBA-sanctioned Quest Tours and building 3x3 high performance programmes as they look to the Olympics.

“We are sending more teams away to international events, mainly because there is more activity in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games.  More countries are now playing 3x3 and there is a lot more international funding available in some countries to host events like this one.

“Kiwi 3x3 players are getting more opportunities. We also have the 3x3.EXE Premier event starting in May this year, which is a good example. The top four teams from the 12 competing in that event will travel to Japan to play in the final there.  We are definitely receiving more and more invitations to play in international events,” says Huxford.

New Zealand is proving successful in the 3x3 events too. The New Zealand open women’s team and the U18 men’s team are the defending 3x3 Asia Cup champions. The New Zealand U18 girls won silver in the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup last year. And we can’t forget New Zealand’s two world titles – the U18 3x3 Men have won the U18 3x3 World Championships twice before. The first in 2011 with Tai Webster, Reuben Te Rangi and Isaac Fotu. In 2015 New Zealand won a second with Nikau McCullough, Tai Wynyard, and Sam Timmins and Matt Freeman.

For this Super Quest event, team Aotearoa has had no time to prepare as a full squad. 

“We have not been able to have a camp, but are arriving a day before the competition starts to get the team working together. It’s tough, but with no high performance funding for our 3x3 programme, we have to do a lot with a little. And as a Nation, we have proven ourselves to be very competitive at 3x3,” says Huxford.

Other teams include Mongolia (no. 2 in the world), China (no. 3), Japan (no. 4), Indonesia (no. 15), South Korea (no. 42), Chinese Taipei (no. 60), Vietnam (no. 65), and Hong Kong (no. 79). Australia are ranked 25 in the world and New Zealand 29.

The event has been set up by the owner of Chooks to Go (owned by Bounty Agro Ventures, Inc), a Philippines-based poultry empire that recently acquired Tegal. Chooks-to-Go is an official partner of the Gilas Pilipinas program for the Philippine men's basketball.

Such is the popularity of basketball in the Philippines that the games will be broadcast live on a local channel, but will also be livestreamed on Facebook through Sports5 and FIBA3x3.

For more, see the event on the play.fiba3x3 event page: https://play.fiba3x3.com/events/f3e6eedf-304d-43ad-9ae4-95bed3f79ed9/teams 
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