15 Aug 2013

Tall Blacks fade late against Boomers

9:26 am on 15 August 2013

It's first blood to Australia in the trans-Tasman basketball series, with wins to both the men's and women's teams in Wednesday night's twin FIBA Oceania Championship games in Auckland.

The New Zealand men paid the price for a final quarter collapse, going down 70-59 despite leading the highly fancied Boomers by seven points at half-time and only trailing by two points heading into the fourth quarter.

But the Tall Blacks ran out of gas in the final stages, scoring just seven points down the stretch.

Australian point guard Patty Mills showed the form that made him the top scorer at last Year's London Olympics with a game-high 20 points, while Cory Webster top-scored for the hosts with 14.

The New Zealand women lost 66-50 to Australia in their game at the North Shore Events Centre and now face an uphill battle to qualify for next year's world championships in Spain.

The Tall Ferns will now have to beat the Australians in Sunday's return game in Canberra to qualify, no easy task against the world number two-ranked Opals, who were at full strength against the under-strength and under-prepared hosts.

Both men's teams will qualify for next year's world championships.