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Kiwi University Team Lose To Russians At World University Games

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August 15, 2011
Joshua Bloxham - Source:

Joshua Bloxham - Source:

The New Zealand University basketball team has been beaten 78-42 by Russia in its first game at the Universiade 2011 at Shenzen, China.

The Russian team was virtually the same side which reached the Stankovic Cup final against the Tall Blacks just days ago.

The New Zealand side were amazed at the magnitude of the event where the village holds 15,000 people, the food hall seats 4,000 and where for the opening ceremony they paraded in front 80,000. However after the entire squad only having three practice sessions and being under-manned with only nine players in the squad and having a tallest player, Justin Edwards at just 2.05m (6’9”) they took on the big Russians.

The team started well and were down only nine at half time, 25-34 but in the second spell there were some injury concerns and several players got into foul trouble.

Marco Alexander from Massey University was outstanding with 17 points, often producing drives to the basket against 7 foot players and getting a three point play. For many of the team it was their first experience at international level in basketball

“I must say the Kiwi spirit showed out, with none of them taking a backward step against a more experienced team. I was most proud of all of them,” said assistant coach Chris Millbank. “The Tall Blacks coach said we should aim to keep the Russians under 80 points and we achieved that little goal.”

The teams next game is against Japan.

Management also reported that they have left an impact on the Games already with their Haka and have successfully taught their guide to be fluent in saying “sweet as bro”

The New Zealand team is;

Marco Alexander(Massey University), David Clarke(Oregon Institute of Technology), Sam Dempster(Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology), Justin Edwards(Valparaiso University), Jordan Mills(Victoria University), Josh Bloxham(Massey University), Nicolas Barrow(Auckland University), Dion Prewster(Austin State University), Rory Fannon(Utah Valley University), Coach Dean Vickerman, assistant coach/manager, Chris Millbank.