1 Aug 2017

Tall Blacks tip Angola over

6:58 am on 1 August 2017

The New Zealand men's basketball team has beaten previously unbeaten Angola 72-64 at a tournament in China.

Paul Henare

Tall Blacks coach Paul Henare Photo: Photosport

The Tall Blacks victory at the Kunshan International Basketball Championships comes after earlier losses to hosts China and to Lithuania.

Coach Paul Henare said the start to the game against the experienced Angolan team was crucial.

"We got off to a really good start. Angola seemed to be lacking a bit of energy and urgency early and we did a good job of capitalizing on that," said Henare.

"Derone Raukawa came off the bench and got the scoreboard ticking over, but getting off to a good start was huge for us and for our confidence."

Raukawa posted eight quick points in the first half and with centre Sam Timmins chiming in with six points and three boards and the team shooting four of 13 from deep, the Tall Blacks were perhaps more comfortable than the 34-29 halftime score suggested.

Henare said the win was very satisfying.

"I am extremely happy and proud of the boys to beat Angola, this is their full-strength team and they have some serious talent and unbelievable experience with five or six guys that have been to multiple world championships and probably Olympics as well."

"For our young group to perform against a side like that was very impressive."

The Tall Blacks now travel to Chengdu for a further tournament, playing Lithuania, Angola and China Red in their final games before the FIBA Asia Cup in Beirut, from August 8th.