The Tall Blacks are on track to be in China for the 2019 Basketball World Cup, but they made hard work of it last night with a 63-60 victory over Lebanon in Rotorua.
The New Zealanders produced one of their worst shooting displays in history but still claimed their seventh win on the trot, which extends their lead atop their World Cup qualifying group.
The win gives New Zealand a seven win and one loss record in the qualifying campaign.
New Zealand started well enough, with no early signs of the shooting troubles that would follow.
By the end of the first quarter however Lebanon were up 18-7.
The Tall Blacks responded scoring the first 11 points of the second quarter to tie the game up at 18 all.
But bounced back to eke out a small lead, at times extending to seven points and looking on track to cause an upset.
New Zealand though grabbed the lead with one minute remaining forcing the Lebanese into a travel and a time clock violation as Rueben Te Rangi stepped up to the free throw line, making both shots to extend to the final score of 63-60.
The Tall Blacks then forced another Lebabon turnover to hold on for the win much to the relief of coach Paul Henare.
"There was a degree of relief at the end of that one, but also a large amount of pride that the boys found a way to win when it looked for most of the game that it wouldn't go our way."
"Credit to Lebanon though, that was not a surprise to us at all. I watched them play China in Beirut and I knew they would fight and be in the battle for a long time, I have nothing but respect for the way they play the game and their contribution to the contest," he said.
The Tall Blacks shot just 28 per cent from the floor (21-of-76) but had 25 offensive rebounds.