3x3 Godfather chalks another victory on Quest Tour

3x3 Godfather chalks another victory on Quest Tour
Team PM. Left to right: Zac Easthope, Karl Noyer, Tom Allan and Aaron Bailey-Nowell.

The first leg of the 3x3 Quest Tour at The Trusts Arena in Auckland has been won by the defending champions, team PM (Precision Movement). They will now have their eyes set on the ultimate prize of winning an all-expenses trip to represent New Zealand at the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters event in Asia (city TBA). 

The team are planning a trip to Tauranga for the second leg of the 3x3 Quest Tour, set for Saturday 2 February, Blake Park, Mt Maunganui.

Team PM is almost entirely made up of the 2018 New Zealand 3x3 team that played in the Asia Cup. Karl Noyer, Aaron Bailey-Nowell and Tom Allan are on the roster. Their team-mate Zac Easthope has also represented New Zealand. Last November, Easthope played for Auckland University at the FISU 3x3 World University League event in China.

Captain Karl Noyer, who has three 3x3 World Tour Qualifier titles to his name already, said it was great to be back in 2019 and aiming for another title and World Tour Masters qualification.

“There were a lot more teams than expected, especially for the open men’s grade, which is great. It meant there were lots of games and the competition was really strong. I think it was much harder than it has ever been. There were eight or nine teams that could have won it, so it was really good to see the quality of competition,” said Noyer.

There were 36 teams that played the opener, with 16 of those competing for the open men’s event. PM were dominant throughout the day, including the Final where they beat team Dax (Reuben Fitzgerald, Samuel Mennenga, Scott Telfer and Taine Wattie), 16-8.

“We knew the team, Dax, and we knew they were going to be physical. They’ve all played top high-school stuff so we certainly didn’t take them lightly.”

PM played team ‘PM Juniors’ in the quarter–final. Made up of Bradley Murray-Macgregor, Antonio Luetich, Jett Marshall and Jacob Errey. The PM Juniors were beaten 9-21 by the Noyer’s PM. But, considering the age of this young group, it shows that these young men are potential 3x3 stars of the future – after all, they play and are coached by members of the New Zealand men’s team every Monday night.

“We coached all four of those boys and they have been playing 3x3 for the last six months against us on Monday nights. They are 15 and 16 years old, so it was great to see them get into the quarter-finals in an open men’s event,” said Noyer. 

It’s no surprise Noyer is involved in the mentorship of these young players. He is widely considered to be the Kiwi Godfather of 3x3, having regularly featured on the podium for New Zealand. He has played in four World Cups (open men’s), one FIBA Asia Cup and three World Tour Masters. Noyer is also the New Zealand 3x3 coach, taking the U18 men’s side to a gold medal at the 3x3 Asia Cup in September. Noyer also coached the U18 team that went to the 2018 Youth Olympics, held in Argentina last October. 

Despite the strong start for PM yesterday, there’s no guarantee that they will be the team that will head to the World Tour Masters. In 2018 they only manged to scrape through in the Final, 22-19 against Lincoln University. With another five stops on the Tour, there are still plenty of opportunities for teams to qualify for the final event and that ultimate prize. 

The Junior Mixed was won by team Kaizen (Tyla Tevaga, Desmond Helu, Joshua Malolo, Leyton Vaike-Hunt). They won all of their eight games, and managed to clinch victory in the final 19-17 over team ‘Elite Pathways’ (Cooper Fale, Brock McCurdy, Jago Robertson, Zavier Adam).

The Senior Mixed grade was won by team K.O.K.U (Kobe Tukakaraina, Kenley Liu, Oliver White). They won all five games, although faced tough competition throughout the day. They won the final 15-12 against team ‘Tyler the Creator’ (Leata Tenana-Williams, Safenunuivao Tenana-Williams, and sisters Zaaliyah and Jazz Kailahi-Fulu).

The U19 Male grade was won by team ‘Dallas’ (Joe Wuthrich, Dallas Clayton, Joshua Kooiman). They lost their opening game to team ‘Light Work’ (Thomas Clayton, Liam Holwerda and Nicolas Varley) 11-14. They then went on to win their remaining games and revenged their opening loss with a narrow victory over Light Work, 14-11.

The Dunk competition was won by Phil Barota, who picked up the $50 Sal's Pizza voucher.

The grades are tailored depending on entries. Another five stops remain. 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 final event. 

More info:

More details on the tour at 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