8 Sep 2019

Tall Blacks topple Japan

7:12 am on 8 September 2019

The Tall Blacks have thumped Japan 111-81 in the classification round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup in China.

The Tall Blacks bounced back from the disappointment of not making the second round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup by thumping Japan 111-81 in the classification stage of the tournament.

Despite rocketing out to a 10 point lead early in the first quarter, Japan staged a comeback to tie the scores up at 29-29 after 10 minutes.

That was as close as the two sides would get for the rest of the match as usual suspect, shooting guard Corey Webster, took the match away from Japan.

Webster had 17 points by halftime, eventually finishing with figures 27 points, six assists and five rebounds.

He was again helped by his core group of teammates - player of the match Isaac Fotu had 23 points and 10 rebounds, Webster's brother Tai 15 points and nine assists, Rob Loe 12 points, and captain Tom Abercrombie 10 points.

Tall Blacks player Isaac Fotu

Isaac Fotu was player of the match for the Tall Blacks. Photo: Photosport

Japan's veteran center Nick Fazekas was the top scorer on the night with 31 points, with the majority coming in the first quarter.

Unfortunately for Japan only one other player reached double figures as the side struggled to match New Zealand's attack.

In total, New Zealand made 18 three point shots in the match, the most by any team at the World Cup so far.

The Tall Blacks will need another strong performance against Turkey on Monday to reach the Olympic qualifying tournament - the Tall Blacks will need to finish higher than 23rd out of the 36 teams to qualify for the tournament next June.