Wellington’s Team Toa has gone back-to-back at the 3x3 Quest Tour, taking out the most recent leg of New Zealand’s only national 3x3 street basketball competition.
Klein Salmon, Hyrum Hippolite, Kydan Parata and Randall Bishop took the honours for Team Toa, after winning six in a row. They managed to sneak through with a win in the Final over team Hoops They Did It Again. The final score was 8 to 6.
Toa have now qualified to compete in the World Tour Qualifier Quest Final, to be held in Auckland on Saturday 9 March. Win that and Toa will secure the ultimate prize of an all-expenses trip to represent New Zealand at the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters event in Chengdu, China, starting 1 June.
Randall Bishop says it was another great Wellington leg and his team will be looking to build on their experience from the World Tour Qualifier in 2018 to target the big prize this year.
“The competition in Wellington was really good this year. It was even better than last year. Last year we cruised through to the final, but this year we had to work hard and had some really tough games. It was also more cut-throat this year. If you lost in the Pool round, you’re gone. Last year you got another chance if you lost in the early stages.
“I think the biggest challenge at the Quest Final will probably be size. Last year we went up to Auckland thinking we could stretch the floor and go up with four guards. But it was a little tough on defence, so this year we will look at bringing some size,” said Bishop.
In the skill contest, Chris McIntosh shone through with victory in both the 3-Point and Knock Out events.
There were 33 teams that played in Wellington on Saturday, with 17 of those on the Open Men’s event.
Junior mixed: Team BBB beat Team Let it Fly in the final, 17 to 11.
U19 Boys: Team Maccabi just sneaked through with a win over Grassy Pitch, 10 to 9.
Senior mixed: Toa Boys beat Deliverers 8 to 7.
Open Men: Team Toa beat Hoops I Did it Again, 8 to 6.
Sal’s Pizza Slam Dunk winner: Patrick Ransfield
Mai FM 3-point winner: Chris McIntosh
Knock Out winner: Chris McIntosh
The next leg will be held this Sunday, 17 Feb in the Octagon, Dunedin. Basketball New Zealand’s 3x3 Manager, David Huxford, says registrations are already looking really good.
“We always look forward to the Dunedin leg of the Tour. Playing in the Octagon really adds to the hype of the event. That’s the great thing about 3x3, all we need is a hoop and flat hard-surface. We are seeing 3x3 events starting to be held all around the world in some really iconic locations in downtown hubs in big cities, right in the mix of the city hustle and bustle. We are looking to do that and Dunedin has certainly come tp the party with allowing us to play ball in The Octagon,” says Huxford.
The grades are tailored depending on entries. Another three stops remain in Tour before the Questo Final. Entry is free. To register, it is essential that all players have an official play.fiba3x3.com profile. Creating a profile is easy and only takes about three minutes. Once created, players must respond to the confirmation email, then register for the relevant event. Players can enter, track their results and compare their ranking to their friend’s and other 3x3 players internationally.
3x3 Quest Tour Schedule, 2019:
Sun 20 Jan Auckland-West The Trusts Arena, Henderson, Auckland
Sat 2 Feb Tauranga Harbourside Netball Centre, Blake Park, Mt Maunganui
Sat 9 Feb Wellington Odlins Plaza, Wellington Waterfront
Sun 17 Feb Dunedin The Octagon, Dunedin
Sat 23 Feb Christchurch Hagley Park Netball Courts
Sat 2 Mar Auckland- North Eventfinda Stadium (formerly NSEC), North Shore
Sat 9 Mar Auckland- QUEST FINAL* Auckland City YMCA, Pitt Street
* This final event is the World Tour Qualifier Final and is only open to the Open Men's Grade teams that qualified at one of the above regional events. No other grades will play at this event.
• More details on the tour: http://nz.basketball/3x3-Quest-Tour
• Sign up for the tour via play.fiba3x3.com
• Follow the event on Basketball New Zealand’s Social media accounts on @BasketballNZ via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter