26 Aug 2009

Tall Blacks second half leaves Boomers wanting

8:18 am on 26 August 2009

A raw and inexperienced New Zealand men's basketball side inflicted on Australia one of their biggest Trans-Tasman defeats to claim the Oceania champs in the series decider last night in Wellington.

The Tall Blacks needed to win the second Test by eight points after losing the opening Test in Sydney on Sunday and they far exceeded that margin with a 100-78 scoreline to claim the Al Ramsay Shield and the top Oceania seeding for next year's world championships in Turkey, for which both teams have qualified.

It was only their third series win over the Boomers after they'd trailed by two at halftime.

New Zealand outscored Australia 36-15 in the third period and led the Boomers 74-55 at the start of the fourth quarter.

The front court trio of Mika Vukona, Alex Pledger and Thomas Abercrombie dominated their Australian counterparts, with New Zealand enjoying a rebounding advantage all game.

Vukona finished with a game-high 25 points and 12 rebounds, Kirk Penney 24 points and Pledger 15 points and 13 boards.