Top University Talent on Show at the National Tertiary 3x3 Championship

Top University Talent on Show at the National Tertiary 3x3 Championship

The National Tertiary 3x3 Championship, held at the Selwyn Sports Centre on 11-12 May, showcased the incredible talent and competitive spirit of New Zealand university 3x3 athletes. Teams from all eight of New Zealand’s universities battled it out in intense matches, culminating in thrilling finals games that determined the overall champions in both the men’s and women’s divisions.

Men’s Division Highlights:

The defending champions from the University of Canterbury arrived as pre-tournament favourites but with a target firmly on their backs. The chasing pack was headlined by the University of Waikato who brought back three of the four players from their 2023 campaign.

True to the pre-tournament seedings, UC and Waikato made it through pool play undefeated while the University of Auckland and the locals from Lincoln University also had a solid first day. However, early on day two it was the Pool B teams that would prove to be strongest as UC, Auckland and the University of Otago progressed to the semi-finals with Waikato the lone Pool A representative in the next stage.

UC and Waikato dominated their respective opponents in the semi-finals, setting up the grand final clash that looked to be on the cards from the beginning. From the tip-off the men from Canterbury stifled the rhythm and shooting of Waikato, with ball movement and composure guiding them to the gold medals thanks to a 21—11 victory.

Individual standout performances from the weekend were recognised in the naming of the men’s Tournament Team, four players selected for their high level of play, leadership and consistency.

Noah Watson and Aidan Tongue from the University of Canterbury were selected for the pivotal roles they played in leading their team to victory and securing back-to-back titles. Daniel Dobson from the University of Waikato consistently flashed his trademark shooting and athleticism, helping his team clinch second place with Joe Ahie from the University of Otago rounding out the squad thanks to his influential performance in earning the bronze.

Women’s Division Highlights:

The women’s tournament got underway with a bang, as the defending champions Lincoln University narrowly defeated the University of Waikato 16-15 in Pool A. Over in Pool B it was the teams from the University of Canterbury and University of Otago proving strongest, with UC winning that match-up and along with it the top seed for quarter-finals.

In contrast to the men, it was Pool A who had three teams progress to the semi-finals as Lincoln, Waikato and Auckland were joined by Otago. The favourites and defending champions from Lincoln ground out a win over Auckland to progress to the grand final, while Waikato narrowly dispatched Otago in their drama-filled semi. The women from Lincoln flexed their muscles in the final, powering to the gold with a 20-9 victory over Waikato.

A women’s Tournament Team was also named with Kate Herman and Hana Lacey-Rameka from Lincoln University demonstrating exceptional teamwork and determination, guiding their team to the championship title. Kayla Manuirirangi from Waikato was also a standout, contributing significantly to her team’s second-place finish and lastly Tyler Mitchell from Otago also stood out, helping Otago secure third place and winning the individual women’s 3-point shoot-out competition.


Final Standings:

Men’s Division:

1. University of Canterbury

2. University of Waikato

3. University of Otago

4. University of Auckland

5. Massey University

6. Lincoln University

7. Victoria University of Wellington

8. AUT


Women’s Division:

1. Lincoln University

2. University of Waikato

3. University of Otago

4. University of Auckland

5. University of Canterbury

6. AUT

7. Victoria University of Wellington

8. Massey University


Following their performances at the UTSNZ National Tertiary 3x3 Championship, the top two teams from each division have now earned the opportunity to compete in the FISU Oceania 3x3 Qualifier event. The qualifier will be held as part of the Unisport 3x3 Nationals in July, with the winning teams earning the right to represent Oceania at the FISU University World Cup 3x3 event in China in November.

The University of Canterbury and the University of Waikato will compete in the men’s division, while Lincoln University and the University of Waikato will represent the women’s division.

Posted: Thu 30 May 2024