Tall Blacks Prepare For Sell Out Crowd In Auckland Tonight

When the Tall Blacks face the Philippines tonight – in their first game in four years on home soil – they’ll be backed by a sell-out crowd at Auckland’s EventFinda Stadium.

The final squad list of 12 players has also been confirmed today, with Corey Webster, Dion Prewster, Ethan Rusbatch, Finn Delany, Flynn Cameron, Hyrum Harris, Jordan Ngatai, Sam Timmins, Shea Ili, Taylor Britt, Tohi Smith-Milner and Tom Vodanovich all taking to the court tonight – Cameron being the sole debutant in this experienced squad.

This FIBA World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifier is the first Tall Blacks game in Aotearoa since December 2018, when New Zealand beat Syria 97-74 in Wellington – that game featuring three players in the current squad in Vodanovich, Ngatai and Rusbatch.

Since then, the Tall Blacks have played 20 games outside of New Zealand over the past four years, amassing a 11-9 record during that span; this includes 7 wins in their last 8 away games, with their sole loss coming against Australia in March last year.

Basketball New Zealand (BBNZ) Chief Executive, Dillon Boucher says that although tonight’s game has sold out at Eventfinda Stadium, fans can still tune into Spark Sport to watch it live. FIBA signed an agreement with Spark Sport last November to broadcast its major competitions in New Zealand, ensuring Kiwis can watch international basketball action leading up to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 and beyond.

“We’re delighted that our first home game in four years is a sell-out; we know that both Kiwi basketball fans and local supporters of the Gilas Pilipinas team, are looking forward to seeing this game play out tonight,” says Boucher.

“And the next best thing is being able to watch the game on Spark Sport, who are FIBA’s broadcast partner in New Zealand.”

The Tall Blacks are one of 15 teams competing in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, with New Zealand top of Pool A and one of eight teams to have so far qualified for the second round. This game will be played in the third of six windows, with the FIBA Basketball World Cup due to tip off on 25 August 2023.

Find out more at www.fiba.basketball/basketballworldcup/2023/asian-qualifiers

Watch the game live on Spark Sport; find out more at https://www.sparksport.co.nz

 

Tall Blacks playing squad (30 June 2022)

Corey Webster, Perth Wildcats / Franklin Bulls

Dion Prewster, Melbourne United / Sandringham Sabres

Ethan Rusbatch, Hawkes Bay Hawks

Finn Delany, NZ Breakers

Flynn Cameron, De Paul University

Hyrum Harris, Adelaide 36ers / Hawkes Bay Hawks

Jordan Ngatai, Cairns Taipans / Wellington Saints

Sam Timmins, NZ Breakers / Otago Nuggets

Shea Ili, Melbourne United / Sandringham Sabres

Taylor Britt, Canterbury Rams

Tohi Smith-Milner, South East Melbourne Phoenix / Sandringham Sabres

Tom Vodanovich, Sydney Kings / Wellington Saints

 

Head Coach – Pero Cameron

Assistant Coach – Ross McMains

Assistant Coach – Zico Coronel

 

Gilas Pilipinas playing squad (30 June 2022)

Kiefer Ravena (captain)

RJ Abarrientos

SJ Belangel

Rhenz Abando

Geo Chiu

Dave Ildefonso

Francis Lopez

William Navarro

Kevin Quiambao

Dwight Ramos

Carl Tamayo

 

Head Coach – Nenad Vučinić