10 Aug 2011

Tall Blacks defence lifts them to win over Russia

11:36 am on 10 August 2011

The New Zealand men's basketball team delivered another impressive performance on the defensive end as they beat Russia 80-77 to win the Stankovic Cup and the 36,000 dollar prize that goes with it.

It was the Tall Blacks third upset of the China tournament after beating the host nation and Angola in group play and they've put Australia on notice ahead of next month's Oceania Olympic qualification tournament across the Tasman.

The win was a reversal of their three point loss to the Russian's four days earlier and top scorer Kirk Penney says the Tall Blacks defence was impregnable.

Shooting guard Penney and forward Tom Abercrombie were named in the tournament all-star five.

The Tall Blacks now fly to Italy for a camp ahead of a four-nation tournament in Macedonia and another in Turkey before heading to Australia for next month's Olympic qualification series.