The NZ Pro 3×3 Quest has finished for the season, with the National Final being held in Auckland last weekend.
Skill levels were at an all-time high, with notable Tall Blacks and 3×3 Tall Blacks filling the squads for intense and fast-paced matchups throughout the day. Nikau McCullough, who has been a strong member of the 3×3 Tall Blacks, was part of the winning team, Tipua. The team also featured Chris McIntosh, Denhym Brooke and Taki Fahrensohn who all have a vast range in basketball experience, being part of teams such as the Sal’s NBL and the Tall Blacks.
Opposing finalists, Manaia, who won Round 19 of the NZ Pro 3×3 Quest, gave it their all to defend against Manaia in a close encounter. Lock at 19 apiece, the team made up of Tanae Lavery, Aidan Tonge, Daniel Dobson and Tyler Herbert couldn’t hold off a corner two-point attempt. The shot saw Tipua take a 21-19 victory and win the NZ Pro 3×3 Quest.
BBNZ 3×3 Programme Manager, Nikolay Mikhalchuk says that he enjoyed watching the NZ Pro 3×3 Quest online, after spending his time away in Canada alongside the 3×3 Tall Ferns.
“After being with the 3×3 Tall Ferns, watching the NZ Pro 3×3 Quest online while overseas was incredible. Being able to watch Nikau’s game winning shot from a hotel room in Montreal was something very special. Seeing the skill level that Kiwi athletes are putting on back home while watching some of the best from all over the world play in Canada, it really shows you where the game of 3×3 can take you and how generating points from the Quest can take New Zealand to these top-tier FIBA international events,” says Mikhalchuk.
“We are slowly becoming recognisable nation in international 3×3 community. The more FIBA ranking points we can generate, the better it will be for our qualification processes to these bigger events, such as the Olympics which would be a fantastic opportunity for our Kiwi athletes who want to make their mark on the world stage. Congratulations to Tipua for winning in a close battle and we look forward to the next time these players take on each other in 3×3.”
“Next stop for us is the highest level international 3×3 event, Cebu World Tour Stop in Philippines, where we will have a unique chance to test our skills against the world’s best!”
Results for NZ Pro 3×3 Quest can be found HERE