Tall Blacks thump Hong Kong to win first World Cup qualifier

By Rahia Timutimu

The Tall Blacks have gelled more as a team to beat Hong Kong 133 – 74, their first World Cup qualifier win.

Following their loss against Korea last Thursday in Wellington, the New Zealand side had three days including their flight to Hong Kong to win the match, which was their second in this Asia qualifying round.

By halftime coach Paul Henare was able to play his bench players, Māori player Jordan Ngatai was one, scoring 18 points.

Captain Reuben Te Rangi scored 16 points, with another six players scoring double figures.

“I just thought that every guy that stepped on the floor was ready to play, ready to be aggressive and take their shots. Playing against that zone defence we had to spread the floor” says Coach Paul Henare.

China has gone to win two from two, after beating Korea 92 – 81.

Tall Blacks 133 (Jordan Ngatai 18, Reuben Te Rangi 16, Shea Ili 14)
Hong Kong 74
HT: 71-40