16 Dec 2009

Tough draw for Tall Blacks

6:55 am on 16 December 2009

New Zealand has drawn the defending champions Spain and two other top Euoropean teams in pool play at next year's men's basketball World Championship in Turkey.

The Tall Blacks are in Pool D with the titleholders, France, Lithuania, Canada and Lebanon.

Coach Nenad Vucinic says there is no easy section while Canada and Lebanon are also tough teams, the Tall Blacks have beaten them in the past.

They beat Canada and Lebanon in North America, en route to last year's Olympic qualifying tournament in Greece but they have also suffered two heavy losses to the Canadians in the past two years.

Australia's in pool A with and ranked 12th, one ahead of New Zealand, despite the Tall Blacks' Oceania Championship win.

But Vucinic wanted Puerto Rico Canada in the Tall Blacks group and that's what they got, while Australia have ended up A with Argentina, Serbia, Germany, Angola and Jordan, possibly the toughest of the four groups.