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Two debutants named alongside experienced Tall Blacks core and hometown hero

Two debutants named alongside experienced Tall Blacks core and hometown hero
The MBO Tall Blacks’ Head Coach Paul Henare has named two young debutants in his shortened list of 12 for the World Cup Qualifier against Jordan, in Christchurch tomorrow night. Those two will step onto court with a line-up of reliable stalwarts and a hometown hero. 

Kruz Perrott-Hunt and Tom Vodanovich have staked their claim and are one step closer to their childhood dream of playing for the Tall Blacks. They will sing the National Anthem in line with veterans the likes of Mika Vukona, Tom Abercrombie, Alex Pledger, Rob Loe and Jarrod Kenny. 

Of the original squad of 14, Derone Raukawa and Tyrell Harrison will not suit up for this test. That said, Henare has hinted at the possibility of a team-rotation for the game against Syria.

“One of the advantages of playing at home is that we can carry extra bodies in the squad, but one of the disadvantages is having conversations with a couple of guys before each game that will be disappointing for them. So this time it’s Derone and Tyrell, but there’s every chance that they get to suit up on Sunday afternoon in Wellington.”

This has been a rapid rise in the ranks for Vodanovich and Perrott-Hunt. Vodanovich has come off a tremendous Sal’s NBL season, winning that title with the Southland Sharks. He has gone on to play for the SKYCITY Breakers this year and now fought his way into a black singlet. Kruz Perrott-Hunt surprised many with his inclusion into the squad last June and July. The 18-years-old Rosmini College student wasn’t named in the 12 during that FIBA window, but Henare has said this young man works as hard as anyone on the floor and has earned the honour this week.

“It’ll be a great night for Kruz Perrott-Hunt and Tom Vodanovich who will get to wear the black singlet for the first time. It’s a special occasion for anyone when you get to represent your country at a senior level,” said Coach Henare this evening.

With less than a 1000 tickets left, a likely sold out Horncastle Arena may be reserving their biggest cheers for local boy Ethan Rusbatch. The hometown hero is well-known to Canterbury Rams’ fans. The Cashmere High School alumnus has a bronze medal to his name, having featured in the Tall Blacks team that played at the Gold Coast this year. He also has experience against Jordan, having taken the court against them at the FIBA Asia Cup in 2017 where New Zealand won 98-70.

Team Jordan have acclimatised and appears to have shaken off the weariness of travel. Their newly naturalised player, American Justin Dentmon, was looking strong in their shoot around today, hitting consecutive threes behind the arc. This NBA G League pro is a straight-out shooter and will be a big concern for the Tall Blacks if he finds his range. 

Also new to the team is Jordan’s Head Coach Joey Stiebing, having only been with the team for seven weeks. He says the team has prepared well. He’s added new systems to the Jordanian toolkit and says he believes his side can muster a performance to stun the Kiwis.

“We are playing a great team in the Tall Blacks, so it will be a great challenge for us. That little point guard [Shea] Ili really gets them going offensively and he pushes in transition. Abercrombie, I really like, he’s a good shooter. [Rob] Loe can really stretch the floor in the four and five spot. They’ve got a lot of weapons, they’re very deep and will be a big challenge for us. But I like where we are as a team. I think we are much better than when we first started. We still have a way to go, but hopefully we can be competitive and have a chance, maybe in the last five minutes, to win the game,” said Coach Stiebing after their practice today.

The Tall Blacks vs Jordan FIBA World Cup Qualifier will tip off at 7pm.  Tickets at Ticketek.co.nz

 

MBO Tall Blacks roster to play Jordan. FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, Window Five Round Two:

Tom Abercrombie. SKYCITY Breakers
Shea Ili. Cigna Saints, SKYCITY Breakers
Jarrod Kenny. Taylor Hawks, Cairns Taipans
Rob Loe. Cairns Taipans
Jordan Ngatai. Cigna Saints, SKYCITY Breakers
Kruz Perrott-Hunt. Rosmini College, SKYCITY Breakers Development
Alex Pledger. SIT Zerofees Southland Sharks, Melbourne United
Ethan Rusbatch. Taylor Hawks
Tohi Smith-Milner. Mike Pero Nelson Giants, Melbourne United
Reuben Te Rangi. SIT Zerofees Southland Sharks, Brisbane Bullets
Tom Vodanovich. SIT Zerofees Southland Sharks, SKYCITY Breakers Development
Mika Vukona. Mike Pero Nelson Giants, Brisbane Bullets

Jordan team to face Tall Blacks in Christchurch:

Zaid Abbas, Power Forward, 203cm 
Mah’d Abdeen, Point Guard, 190cm  
Amin Abu Hawwas, Shooting Guard, 188cm  
Yousef Abu Wazaneh, Power Forward, 201cm  
Mousa Alawadi, Shooting Guard, 187cm  
Ahmad Al-Hamarsheh, Small Forward, 197cm  
Justin Dentmon, Shooting Guard, 183cm  
Sinan Eid, Point Guard, 185cm  
Mohammad Hasoneh, Small Forward, 195cm
Mohammad Hussein, Center, 208cm  
Malek Kanaan, Point Guard, 176cm  
Ahmad Obeid Power, Forward, 199cm  

MBO Tall Blacks FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, ROUND TWO

Date | Opponents | Home/Away 
AWAY: 13 Sep 2018 vs Syria, Nouhad Nawfal Stadium, Zouk Mikael, Lebanon Tall Blacks won 107-66 
HOME: 17 Sep 2018 vs Lebanon, Energy Events Centre, Rotorua. Tall Blacks won 63-60
HOME: 29 Nov 2018 vs Jordan, Horncastle Arena, Christchurch 
HOME: 2 Dec 2018 vs Syria, TSB Bank Arena, Wellington 
AWAY: 21 or 22 Feb 2019 vs Lebanon in Lebanon 
AWAY: 24 or 25 Feb 2019 vs Jordan in Jordan  

MBO Tall Blacks FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, ROUND ONE

Date | Opponents | Home/Away
23 Nov 2017 vs Korea at TSB Bank Arena, Wellington. Tall Blacks lost 80-86 
26 Nov 2017 vs Hong Kong at Southourn Stadium, Hong Kong. Tall Blacks won 133-74 
23 Feb 2018 vs China at Dongguan Basketball Centre, China. Tall Blacks won 82-73 
26 Feb 2018 vs Korea at Jamsil Gymnasium, Seoul, South Korea. Tall Blacks won 93-84 
28 Jun 2018 vs Hong Kong at Energy Events Centre, Rotorua. Tall Blacks won 124-65 
1 Jul 2018 vs China vs Spark Arena, Auckland. Tall Blacks won 67-57 

More information:

• Learn more about the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers (Asia Zone)
• Tall Blacks supporters gear can be purchased here
• Follow the Tall Blacks’ social media channels: @TallBlacks FacebookTwitterInstagram. Hashtags: #TuKaha #TallBlacks #FIBAWC #ThisIsMyHouse
• Tall Blacks website 
 Read about Tū Kaha and the Tall Blacks culture
• The games will be broadcast live by the Host Broadcaster, Maori Television
• Watch the Tū Kaha webisode series on the Tall Blacks.





Tickets for the Tall Blacks v Jordan game in Christchurch can be purchased at www.Ticketek.co.nz.

Tickets for the Tall Blacks v Syria game in Wellington can be purchased at www.Ticketmaster.co.nz.
Tickets for the Tall Blacks v Jordan game in Christchurch can be purchased at www.Ticketek.co.nz.

Tickets for the Tall Blacks v Syria game in Wellington can be purchased at www.Ticketmaster.co.nz.
Tickets for the Tall Blacks v Jordan game in Christchurch can be purchased at www.Ticketek.co.nz.

Tickets for the Tall Blacks v Syria game in Wellington can be purchased at www.Ticketmaster.co.nz.
Tickets for the Tall Blacks v Jordan game in Christchurch can be purchased at www.Ticketek.co.nz.

Tickets for the Tall Blacks v Syria game in Wellington can be purchased at www.Ticketmaster.co.nz.

More information:

• Learn more about the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers (Asia Zone)
• Tall Blacks supporters gear can be purchased here
• Follow the Tall Blacks’ social media channels: @TallBlacks FacebookTwitterInstagram. Hashtags: #TuKaha #TallBlacks #FIBAWC #ThisIsMyHouse
• Tall Blacks website 
 Read about Tū Kaha and the Tall Blacks culture
• The games will be broadcast live by the Host Broadcaster, Maori Television
• Watch the Tū Kaha webisode series on the Tall Blacks.



More information:

• Learn more about the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers (Asia Zone)
• Tall Blacks supporters gear can be purchased here
• Follow the Tall Blacks’ social media channels: @TallBlacks FacebookTwitterInstagram. Hashtags: #TuKaha #TallBlacks #FIBAWC #ThisIsMyHouse
• Tall Blacks website 
 Read about Tū Kaha and the Tall Blacks culture
• The games will be broadcast live by the Host Broadcaster, Maori Television
• Watch the Tū Kaha webisode series on the Tall Blacks.