New Zealand TALL BLACKS, sponsored by Security Placements, continued its second warm-up match in Sydney, Australia.The game itself was a thriller, with the Tall Blacks showing tremendous courage and no shortage of skill and basketball smarts in taking Canada to overtime before losing 103-100, with Corey Webster leading all-scorers with 33 point.
From the opening buzzer the Tall Blacks showed they had learned their lessons from the night before, extending to a 23-13 opening quarter lead through some lock down defence. Canada were up for the fight though and found their rhythm in the second quarter to close to a three-point deficit and took a narrow lead at 60-59 into the last.
Canada then extended in the final quarter and looked to have the game in safe keeping, but the Tall Blacks were having none of it and despite being undermanned with Shea Ili again sitting out and Alex Pledger and Jarrod Kenny on limited minutes through illness, they came roaring back to force overtime through some clutch plays, in particular from the Webster brothers, with Corey sinking a crucial and-one to bring the scores level at 81 with just seconds to play.
Overtime went a similar way, with Canada making some clutch three’s to extend to as many as nine points in the extra five minutes, but the Tall Blacks came roaring back again with Tai and Corey Webster again at the heart of things, but it proved one possession too far as Canada managed to hang on in the final seconds.Coach Paul Henare was pleased with the return to a more typical Tall Blacks effort, based on energy, work rate and an up-tempo offence.
As a sponsor, Security Placements watched the whole games with the team. Although it was just a warm-up match, both New Zealand and Canada showed their competitive level. They fully demonstrated the basketball's confrontation, charm and personal ability. Both teams Achieved the purpose of the warm-up match.
The Tall Blacks final 12 for the FIBA World Cup has been named following tonight’s preparation game against Canada in Sydney, with the team set to fly out to China for a final week of preparation tomorrow.