New Zeeland is all set for its second appearance in the FIBA Asia Cup in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Tall Blacks made their debut in the 2017 edition in Lebanon. They did pretty well in there and now looking promising to do much better with a new and courageous squad in Jakarta.
According to FIBA world rankings presented by Nike, the Tall Blacks ranked 27. They were at 24 when the Asia Cup qualifiers started. Despite being concerned about their dip, they might be looking ahead to the Asia Cup as they have to face the wrath of Korea and China.
Asia Cup Debut
New Zealand made its Asia Cup debut along with Australia in 2017 in Lebanon. Unfortunately, they lost in the semi-final to Australia and finished fourth in the season. Nevertheless, they made a serious start to their Asia Cup journey.
Asia Cup Appearances
2022 in Jakarta will be their second appearance in the Asia Cup. Although this is their second appearance in the event, there is plenty of talent left in New Zealand to keep intact this streak of appearances.
Most Recent Appearance
Lebanon 2017 was their maiden and most recent appearance in the championship. They made an impressive start but sadly lost in the semi-finals to Australia by 27 points. On top of that, they also lost the 3rd place game to Korea by 9 points and finished at four. Their best position in the final standings of the Asia Cup.
The Tall Blacks have a long line of legendary players, but if we talk about Asia Cup, then without any doubt, Shea Ili fits the spot. Although New Zealand has played only one edition of the Asia Cup, Shea went relentless with his skill. He played with an efficiency of 16.0 per game, scored points with an average of 15.5, and made assists 5.8 per game. His best performance came against Jordan in the quarter-finals, putting up 19 points and 13 assists to help his team’s victory.
New Zealand made history during the qualifying round, winning against the Boomers in 10 years of continuous struggle. Meanwhile, they confirmed their trip to Jakarta, dominating Guam in an intense clash.
The current situation looks steady for the Tall blacks as they have players, who can go rock. Tom Vodanovic, Dion Prewster, and Rob Loe have been exceptionally outstanding in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers. They have the support of Shea Ili and Te Rangi, and they have to do is combine all the pieces and complete the puzzle, they might take a bite at the cherry this year.