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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

New Zealand in the 2013 FIBA Oceania Championship

Once again, despite both teams directly qualified to the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain, the Australian Boomers and the New Zealand Tall Blacks will face each other in a two-game home-and-away series. This series is more than just a formality of who will be the Oceania champions but also a traditional rivalry that spread across different sporting codes, from rugby union to rugby league, from cricket to softball, from field hockey to football, from basketball to netball, the list goes on. These two nations have a very rich sporting traditions and rivalry that also go hand-in-hand with their shared history since the colonial era and their ANZAC spirit fighting together in two World Wars.

I will be supporting my adopted country (New Zealand) in this series. The Tall Blacks opened their international season with a 77-76 victory over the Philippines (my home country) in a one-off international test match in Auckland before winning the Shikoku Basketball Classic in an 8-game Tour of China. The Kiwis will not have the services of 2013 NBA draftee Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunders and former Australian NBL superstar Kirk Penney, one of the most decorated Kiwi player ever but both are expected to play in next year's FIBA World Cup.

Schedule:
  • Game 1: New Zealand 59 - 70 Australia (August 14), North Shore Events Centre, Auckland, New Zealand [match details|video highlights|full replay]

Roster:
  • Thomas Abercrombie
  • BJ Anthony
  • Casey Frank
  • Everard Bartlett
  • Jarrod Kenny
  • Izaya Leafa
  • Jordan Ngatai
  • Alex Pledger
  • Jack Salt
  • Reuben Te Rangi
  • Mika Vukona (c)
  • Corey Webster

Head coach: Nenad Vučinić
Assistant coach(es): Pero Cameron and Paul Henare
Physiotherapist: Anousith Bouaaphone
General manager: Claire Dallison
Reserves/Injury Lists: Brook Ruscoe and Jeremiah Trueman
Rested/Not Available: Kirk Penney, Steven Adams

New Zealand Record in the Oceania Championship:
1971: 2nd place (silver)
1975: 2nd place (silver)
1978: 2nd place (silver)
1979: 2nd place (silver)
1981: 2nd place (silver)
1983: 2nd place (silver)
1985: 2nd place (silver)
1987: 2nd place (silver)
1989: 2nd place (silver)
1991: 2nd place (silver)
1993: 2nd place (silver)
1995: 2nd place (silver)
1997: 2nd place (silver)
1999: 1st place (gold)
2001: 1st place (gold)
2003: 2nd place (silver)
2005: 2nd place (silver)
2007: 2nd place (silver)
2009: 1st place (gold)
2011: 2nd place (silver)
2013: 2nd place (silver)


Note: Since 2001, FIBA Oceania Championship is also played in conjunction with the annual Al Ramsay Shield Series between Australia and New Zealand.


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