The Rebel Sport 3X3 Quest Tour comes to a close this weekend with the eight best open men’s teams gathering in Auckland to compete for national glory.
The big dance is scheduled to start at 12pm at Eventfinda Stadium on Saturday 1 May, where 32 players from eight teams will take to the court first to get the action rolling.
Basketball New Zealand National Events Manager David Huxford says he’s looking forward to crowning another Tour champion after the competition’s hiatus in 2020.
“I’m relieved to have the 3×3 Quest Final back again after having to cancel last year’s events due to the pandemic. As we know, Covid-19 has a long tail, which also means that we won’t be sending a winning team overseas this year. But, our super-supportive naming rights partner, Rebel Sport, have come to the party with $2,000 of Rebel Sport vouchers for the winning team and a Rebel Sport prize pack.
“The pandemic has not stopped us from ramping up the presentation of the Final, which will be staged indoors at Eventfinda Stadium on Auckland’s North Shore using their new LED scoreboards and court.
“There will be some familiar faces back with new team members as well as a few teams that have yet to experience the intensity of the Rebel Sport 3×3 Quest Final.
“It’s going to be anyone’s call on who will take out the top honours and prize pack. We have seven qualified teams hailing from Auckland, New Plymouth, Wellington and Christchurch as well as a Wildcard entrant, Scam.EXE, who have been long time entrants in the Quest Tour and will also be participating for a second time in the 3×3.EXE League starting in May.”
Five of the eight sides taking part in the competition are local courtesy of three of the eight stops on the Tour being within Auckland, one side winning the Tauranga stop and a wildcard team.
3X3 powerhouse, Swish, will represent the West at the final and are led by the experienced Karl Noyer. His combination with Tall Black legend, Kirk Penney, is one to look out for.
Going off collective FIBA points, Bridge rank third in the lead up to the competition decider. The Tauranga leg winners are typified by their 6’8” forward, Rory Fannon, who makes opponents work for their scores around the rim.
North Auckland champions, Calendar Boys 2.0, are perhaps the most talented group entering the fray, with all four of their players having been on rosters at the 2020 Sal’s NBL Showdown – Chris McIntosh (EnviroNZ Franklin Bulls), Reuben Fitzgerald (Sky Tower Auckland Huskies), Theo Johnson (Mike Pero Nelson Giants) and Sam Aruwa (Go Media Otago Nuggets).
Steve’s Team took out the South Auckland stop and will look to stay undefeated on their quest the big prize. If they can keep their opposition’s scoring at bay like they did a few weeks ago, their offense should take care of the rest.
Last but not least out of Tāmaki Makaurau are Wildcard entrants, Scam.EXE. The long-time participants on the Tour have three players who’ve played 3X3 on an international stage, so the magnitude of the moment shouldn’t trouble them.
Rounding out the remainder of the winners are Waitara’s Finest (New Plymouth), 3’s with Fleas (Wellington) and Gimme 5 (Christchurch).
Waitara’s Finest are by far the youngest side set to feature, but you’d be a fool to underestimate them. Their naivety and youthful fearlessness could prove the difference in the crunch.
Out of the nation’s capital is 3’s with Fleas and if their name tells you anything it’s that they’ll make you pay if you give them anything outside. The mobility of the quartet also means you can’t afford to let them get a step in close.
Holding it down for the South Island are Gimme 5, who has two Lincoln University players to keep tabs on. Both Corban Mason and Simon Lafaele roll in fresh off earning a silver medal at this month’s UTSNZ 3×3 Tertiary Champs.
Those unable to watch all 15 games from the Tour’s Final in person will be actually to tune in online via the live stream on Sky Sport Next. Randy from Mai FM will also be the DJ/MC for the event.
Rebel Sport 3X3 Quest Tour Final teams:
Swish – West Auckland
- Karl Noyer
- Ben Fraser
- Marcus Logan
- Kirk Penney
Bridge – Tauranga
- Philip Borota
- Corey Annandale
- Rory Fannon
- Karl Magon
Calendar Boys 2.0 – North Auckland
- Chris McIntosh
- Reuben Fitzgerald
- Theo Johnson
- Sam Aruwa
3’s with Fleas – Wellington
- Kaleb Barton
- Ben Ross
- Harris Stepthen
- Cambell Stephen
Gimme 5 – Christchurch
- Corban Mason
- Jarred Burnett
- Simon Lafaele
- Ben Bowie
Waitara’s Finest – New Plymouth
- Ethan Lehmann
- Connor Cummins
- Kaya Kupe
- Eliath Morresey
Steve’s Team – South Auckland
- Vlad Zenin
- Beau Haldane
- Clark Hughes
- Dylan Thompson
Scam.EXE – Wildcard
- Connor Woodbridge
- Sherif Hassan
- Anthony Jones
- Jacob Walsh
3X3 Quest Tour Schedule, 2021
- Final (Auckland), Eventfinda Stadium, Saturday 1 May
* This final event is only open to the Open Men’s Grade teams that qualified at one of the regional events. No other grades will play at this event.