The New Zealand men’s team has advanced to the quarter-final round at the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup in China after finishing second in Pool D.
Australia were too much for New Zealand in the team’s first pool game, going down 14-19.
Head coach Anthony Corban said errors on both sides of the ball played a hand in the loss.
“We were down all game, making silly defensive errors and getting punished by a quality team. We managed to close it to a one-point deficit late in the game, but the errors crept back in and we just couldn’t get it done,” said Corban.
“It was a tough game to have first up, but it was the wakeup call we needed. Karl Noyer and the entire team did a great job denying their outside shooter any catch and shoot opportunities, but we were beaten on a number of occasions off the dribble from the perimeter.”
New Zealand bounced back in their second game against Kazakhstan, earning a comfortable 21-9 victory. The win was enough to secure them a second-place finish in Pool D and a quarterfinals berth.
Corban said the team made the necessary adjustments to get a win.
“It took us a little while to get into the game, but once that happened it was an avalanche of points. We had better defensive pressure on the ball handler and adjustments were made to defensive box outs. We were quick getting into transition sets and looking for post catches.
“Rory Fannon and Aaron Bailey-Nowell worked tirelessly on defence rebounding the ball, and Tom Allan made a positive step forward offensively in this game.”
They’re now set to play China in the quarterfinals this evening, with tip-off scheduled for 8pm (NZT).
The New Zealand women’s team will also be in action later today, playing against Chinese Taipei in their quarterfinals matchup. That contest tips-off at 5:45pm.
If both the men’s and women’s teams are victorious, they will play later tonight in the semi-finals.
FIBA are livestreaming the event on their Youtube channel, and you can also watch live on the Basketball New Zealand Facebook page.
Highlights from the men’s two games last night can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/user/3x3planet/videos
· See FIBA’s tournament website here: http://www.fiba.basketball/3x3asiacup/2018
· More basketball news at www.nz.basketball and Basketball New Zealand’s social media channels: @BasketballNZ Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.