The Tall Blacks have fallen to a buzzer beating 3-pointer by Canada in their Commonwealth Games semi-final matchup on Saturday, eliminating them from contention.
New Zealand were fortunate to even get that close, trailing by as much as 22 throughout the game before fighting back to make it interesting.
Canada managed to hold on for an 88-86 victory and a ticket to the Grand Final, while New Zealand will suit up in the Bronze medal game vs. Scotland on Sunday morning (11am NZT).
Shea Ili lead the way for the Tall Blacks with 23 points and seven assists, while Mika Vukona added 13 points and 15 rebounds. Thomas Abercrombie contributed 13 points in the losing effort.
Turnovers have been a big issue for the Tall Blacks during their time at the Commonwealth Games and that remained the case on Saturday night. NZ committed a total of 26 turnovers, compared to Canada’s 15.
New Zealand made it incredibly hard to play coherent basketball by turning the ball over so much, and it meant their efficient shooting from the field just couldn’t keep up.
The loss stings even more considering the Tall Blacks thumped Canada just days ago, winning 82-60 to book themselves in the semi-finals.