In the latest edition of Fast Five we're looking ahead to November 12-14 when New Zealand's very first NBL national title will be up for grabs in the fast & furious world of 3X3.
Over the last decade New Zealand has been building a reputation as a rising force at 3X3 on the international level, and now with an increased opportunity for elite-level players to compete in 3X3 on home soil basketball fans are in for a real treat.
The inaugural Schick 3X3 Cup will see 10 men's and 10 women's teams locking horns, featuring 80 of the nation's top players across 70 games at ILT Stadium Southland.
Tickets to the Schick 3X3 Cup are now on sale - click HERE.
Every game will be broadcast live on Sky Sport in a 20-hour bonanza of basketball's non-stop 3X3 format.
With 3X3 set to feature in the 2021 Summer Olympics and the 2022 Commonwealth Games, here's what you should be looking for at the Schick 3X3 Cup.
1. Fast & Furious Action
Have you seen a game of 3X3 before? Well, get set for a very fast game loaded with furious action. The transition from offence to defence and back again is dynamic and can all happen within the blink of an eye. The half-court cauldron makes for an amped-up hive of activity as each team brings a relentless work ethic to a contest that will either finish with a team scoring 21 points, or being ahead of their opponents on the scoreboard after 10 minutes of play.
2. Rising Stars
This event will feature many rising stars of New Zealand basketball, including dozens of players who have previously attended national selection camps, or have already represented New Zealand in the Tall Ferns and Tall Blacks at junior and senior levels. The likes of Sam Timmins, Tai Wynyard and Nikau McCullough have already won Gold at the 2015 U18 3X3 World Championships. Three of New Zealand's current top four players will be in action on the men's side of the event, while some genuine rising stars are set to feature in the women's event, led by a number of the current Sky Sport Tall Ferns.
You will notice a few differences at the Schick 3X3 Cup, especially when it comes to the atmosphere. Entertainment is a feature of the 3X3 game, both on and off the court. Music and entertainment zones for adults and kids are always an enjoyable part of the event, while lots of giveaways will be up for grabs as well. Fans will also feel like they are right on top of the action with a 'close-up' feeling something unique that comes with basketball's half-court format.
4. National Team Spots Up For Grabs
There is a reason why New Zealand's 3X3 national team coaches and selectors will be at this event! With a lot of 3X3 basketball on the international stage expected to be back on the agenda during 2021 and 2022, the Schick 3X3 Cup will give players a great chance to show NZ coaches and selectors why they should be considered for future national team spots.
When you put a national title on the line - they will come! The introduction of the Schick 3X3 Cup is an opportunity for New Zealand's NBL teams to battle it out for a national title and another piece of silverware. The opportunity to grab a cup (and some bragging rights) won't be lost on any of the competition's 20 teams. And best of all ….. the race for those cups is wide open!