Basketball New Zealand’s (BBNZ) NZ Pro 3×3 Quest was in full swing for the first time this year. Spectators flocked to Christchurch’s Cowles Stadium to see another 76 games of New Zealand’s best 3×3 players throughout the two days.
Day 1 Recap
In the Men’s, it was Rimu – featuring Tanae Lavery, Ben Carlile-Smith, Richie Rodger and Sam Smith – who were the winners, remaining unbeaten in all five games and averaging 18 points per game on the day. Playing off against Puawai Ma in the final, they managed to hold them off for a final score of 17–14.
For the Women’s, Manuka Pango – with Lauryn Hippolite, Esra McGoldrick, Rosalia Samia and Tsubasa Nisbet – also went unbeaten on the day and had no trouble passing Puawai Pango 13-6 in the Final. Their most emphatic win being 21-5 over Atamai in the Quarter-Finals.
Day 2 Recap
Sunday saw Puawai Hina topple Rimu, the previous day’s champions in a thrilling Men’s Division matchup. Teams shuffled around for the Sunday encounters, leaving Richie Rodger as the only player to win both Finals with two different teams. The rest of the squad, featuring Tom Harrison, Benji Freeman and Simon Lafaele – helped collect the win 18-16.
The Women’s division was again dominated by Manuka Pango, who remained undefeated throughout the whole weekend. With an addition of Tessa Morrison to the squad, Hippolite, McGoldrick and Samia continued their winning ways, taking a win over Manuka Ma in the Final 13-8 to finish their weekend.
The MVPs from the weekend were Richie Rodger (Men’s Division) and Esra McGoldrick (Women’s Division).
3×3 Tall Blacks coach Piet van Hasselt was excited for the NZ Pro 3×3 Quest to be starting back after the Christmas break.
“I really enjoyed the competition down here [Christchurch]. We had 12 men’s and 12 women’s teams going at it and creating some exciting basketball. There were some very competitive Semi-Finals and Finals which is always great for experience and ways for our players to understand pressure situations.”
“What’s always great is seeing our Sal’s NBL and GJ Gardner Tauihi players embrace the culture we are trying to build around 3×3, and I am looking forward to the rest of the Tour and to see what talent Auckland has on offer this weekend, said van Hasselt.
The next NZ Pro 3×3 Quest in Auckland has had a change of venues for the 4th and 5th February 2023. Due to the closure of Eventfinda Stadium, the Auckland City YMCA will be the place to catch this weekend’s action. BBNZ will advise any further changes to venue or schedule a day before the event is due to start through social media.
For details on future NZ Pro 3×3 Quest events, visit the Basketball NZ Events page at https://nz.basketball/whats-on/
NZ Pro 3×3 Quest schedule (2023):
Feb 4-5 | Auckland City YMCA, Auckland
Feb 11-12 | Cowles Stadium, Christchurch
Feb 18-19 | TBC, Auckland
Feb 25-26 | Cowles Stadium, Christchurch
Mar 11-12 | TBC, Auckland