27 Jun 2012

Tall Ferns' Olympic dream over

6:37 am on 27 June 2012

New Zealand's hopes of having a women's basketball team at the London Olympics ended after the Tall Ferns suffered a heart-breaking 51-54 loss to Argentina at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament Turkey this morning.

The result - on the back of yesterday's loss to Czech Republic - means the Kiwis will not qualify out of their pool to contest the last five remaining spots in the London draw.

The Tall Ferns began the game stronger against their higher-ranked opponents and after not finding their long-range shots against the Czechs, the Ferns connected four times in the first half but would revert to previous form after the break.

Late in the second quarter, momentum switched as New Zealand began turning the ball over and conceding offensive rebounds and Argentina were suddenly six points up and led 32-28 at the break.

Argentina still held the upper hand at 43-37 going into the final quarter, but midway through the final spell the Ferns were within two points but missed crucial opportunities with time running out.

Neither side shot the ball particularly well, the Ferns returning just 31 percent today.

The Ferns captain Natalie Taylor led her troops from the front with 19 points, six rebounds and two steals,

New Zealand must now set their sights on next year's FIBA Oceania Championship in the hope of qualifying for the 2014 world championships.