Payback is sweet for the Tall Blacks
The New Zealand Tall Blacks wanted this one badly, and delivered with a sweet dose of revenge against South Korea in Seoul yesterday.
Paul Henare’s New Zealand squad is now back in the box seat in group B of Fiba Asia’s World Cup qualifying after securing back-to-back quality road victories in the February window.
The Tall Blacks followed Friday night’s grind-out statement victory over China in Dongguan with an even more impressive 93-84 win against the dangerous Koreans.
Of course, Korea had stunned the New Zealanders with an 86-80 upset in Wellington in November, so this turnaround was particularly sweet for Henare’s men who had been stung by that home slip up.
The twin victories improve New Zealand to a group-topping 3-1 record, and eases some of the pressure they would have been feeling heading into this two-game window.
They were led, as they often are, by the offensive brilliance of world-class shooting guard Corey Webster, who finished with a game-high 30 points on 11-of-18 shooting. The Israel-based sharpshooter made six of his nine shots from deep and added six assists and three rebounds in a brilliant all-round display.