30 Jun 2016

Tall Blacks beaten in final warm-up

9:31 am on 30 June 2016

The New Zealand men's basketball team have been beaten 88-58 by hosts Lithuania in their final warm-up game before next month's last chance Olympic qualifying tournament in Manila.

Tall Blacks coach Paul Henare

Tall Blacks coach Paul Henare Photo: Photosport

The world number three ranked Lithuania were the better team and the Tall Blacks coach Paul Henare says he was proud of his side's attitude, though disappointed with the result.

"I am proud of that group tonight, not for losing, we never like to lose and we went into this game with the mindset of winning against a quality side. But what I saw gives me heart for Manila and I have no doubt that with the same intensity paired with clearer heads and our shots dropping, we can defeat the Philippines on July 6."

The Tall Blacks fell behind 8-0 in the opening two minutes but responded with an 8-0 run of their own to level the score.

After trailing 28-12 at the end of the first quarter, the New Zealanders closed to just 8 points behind midway through the second, but again Lithuania pulled away in the closing minutes, to leave the score 49-33 at half-time.

The third quarter finished 66-47 with the hosts taking control in the final quarter to seal the comprehensive win.