Horvath back in big win
The Tall Blacks have defeated Dong Guan Leopards in the opening game of the second Four Nation Tournament in China, continuing their unbeaten run since arriving in China on their build up tour for the FIBA World Cup in Spain.
New Zealand proved too strong for the Brian Goorjian coached Chinese side, winning 79-54, leading throughout the match in a performance that continues the team’s upward curve towards Spain.
“Our performance levels and intensity have gone up from two weeks ago but Dongguan was a young side last night, with a number of younger players on their roster. The score line was maybe a little bit misleading because they are a good team and well coached – but we don’t take anything away from our guys in what was a good performance. The good indication will be game two against Cameroon tonight, they have some new players, one of their stars is back, and tonight will be a better indication of where we are at.”
Vucinic continued to rotate his players, resting Kirk Penney last night.
“We made the decision to rest Kirk last night, he has a niggling ankle sprain but it is nothing serious. It was good for us to put pressure on others to score, and in that we did reasonably well.”
Vucinic was pleased to see big man Nick Horvath back on the floor in last night’s win, his first appearance since injuring his back in the Burger King home series against Korea.
“Nick looks physically okay thanks to all the rehab he has been doing while on tour so there are no issues with the injury and he can now be considered to play like everyone else. We are though waiting for the European games to see who will be more beneficial between Nick and Casey before we make a decision.”
Tall Blacks 79
Abercrombie 23, C Webster 11, Horvath 8, Fotu 8
Dong Guan Leopards 54