The Tall Blacks sponsored by Security Placements, with a burst of three-point shots hit Japan without any fuss, beats Japan easily with 111:81 in the classification round on Saturday night. There are still hopes of qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games repechage tournament next year.
Some first quarter defensive lapses aside, the Tall Blacks simply had too many guns for an outclassed Japan, with Corey Webster continuing to star as the tournament’s leading scorer with 27 on the night, including four of six triples, while Isaac Fotu was named player of the game for his double/double of 23 and 10. Tai Webster (15 points, 9 assists), Rob Loe (12 points 4/3 triples, 6 assists), Tom Abercrombie (10 points, 4 rebounds) and Shea Ili (8 points including 2 of 3 triples) all had busy and accurate nights with everyone on the roster again playing a role in a fast moving offensive display.
The Tall Blacks still had plenty to play for if they want to reach the Tokyo Olympic qualifying tournament. They will need another strong performance against Turkey on Monday, with the winner assured of winning the group and with it, an automatic invitation to attend one of four repechage tournaments next year.