28 Jun 2012

Tall Blacks given reality check by Brazil

6:13 am on 28 June 2012

The New Zealand men's basketball team have been given a reality check ahead of their last chance Olympic qualifying tournament, suffering a 73-49 loss to Brazil at a build-up tournament in Sao Paulo.

Without leading players Kirk Penney and Tom Abercrombie, the under-strength Tall Blacks struggled against a Brazilian side which included NBA centres Nene Hilario and Anderson Varejao.

Tall Blacks assistant coach Paul Henare says they gave up too many turnovers to be competitive.

The inexperience of the squad was shown up with four players making their Tall Black debuts.

Meanwhile the New Zealand women's team has failed to qualify for the London Games. The Tall Ferns lost their second straight game at the Olympic qualifying tournament in Turkey, beaten 54-51 by Argentina.