Hot shooting leads New Zealand over Japan

2019-09-07T11:10:22+00:00 2019-09-07T13:37:56+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

07/Sep/19 11:10

Paul Henare’s side comfortably took care of business.

By Eurohoops Team/

Australia will participate in the 2020 Olympic Games, but New Zealand is very likely to have the chance to accompany its Oceania rival after the 111-81 win against Japan in FIBA World Cup Group O action at Dongguan on Saturday. On its side, Japan will play as hosts in next summer’s tournament.

Corey Webster poured 27 points and finished with a 35 efficiency rating, Isaac Fotu added 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. On Japan, it was all about Nick Fazekas, his 31 points on 5/7 shots beyond the arc.

“We wanted to stay locked in despite not making it to the second round” noted top-scorer Webster in the post-game press conference. “We want to leave the tournament in a high note as well.”

Paul Henare’s national team jumped to a 24-12 lead midway through the first quarter, but still needed a 16-3 run opening the second quarter to regain a safe distance. The 18/33 threes included in the 39/67 field goals reassured the comfortable lead.

“Three-pointers are a big part of our game” mentioned head coach Henare. “We try to create opportunities. Obviously we shot the ball well taking advantage of the space.”

The Tall Blacks improved to 2-2 and now await the result of the other Group O match between Turkey (1-2) and Montenegro (0-3). If the Turks get back on the winning track, both 2-2 national teams will punch an Olympic qualifiers ticket.

Japan without Rui Hachimura dropped to 0-4. Julio Lamas’ side is the only classification round participant with nothing to worry about ahead of the Olympic Games.