Saturday 8 August 2015

Stankovic Cup

Last night the Tall Blacks won the Stankovic cup for the second time. Beating Mexico in the final 70-66. They went undefeated over the tournament beating Venezuela, Mexico, China and Mexico again in the championship game.

Corey Webster once again led the charge with a game high 30 points after having the night off against China a few nights earlier. Isaac Fotu also continued his stellar form with 16 points and mammoth 18 rebounds playing robin the Webster's batman on the night...Backing up his massive 34 point 8 rebound effort against China. Both Players with named in the all-star 5 for the tournament with Corey being named MVP.

FIBA world rankings aren't always a true indicator of how good a nation is but China (14th) and Mexico (19th) are both ranked higher than the Tall Blacks which is a good sign heading into the Oceania series. 

Instead of looking at each game I thought id share a few positive signs I saw during the Stankovic cup!

- Don't want to sound like captain obvious here but they went undefeated during the tournament after two tough loses in Europe! Winning breeds confidence and they will need plenty of that heading into the matches against Australia.

- Offensively Corey Webster is this teams go to guy and main scoring weapon! But several players showed the ability to lessen his scoring load over the tournament...Thomas Abercrombie, Isaac Fotu and Reuben TeRangi all had games where they either lead the team in scoring or provided a secondary offensive presence to Cweb which will be key when up against the Boomers. Im going to assume Corey will have one of Matthew Dellavedova, Adam Gibson or Damien Martin on him at all times (all excellent defensive players) and having other players take a bit of that scoring pressure off him will help open things up a bit for him.

- From where I sit it seems like the squad is settled, everyone knows what their role is and everybody is playing their part very well. 

As usual the Tall Blacks will go into the series against the Boomers as underdogs but with the form they have showed and improvements they have made over the tour and the confidence they are playing with at the moment they definitely have the ability to pull off an upset. I love playing in the black singlet but have to admit I'm pretty pumped to be heading down to Wellington to watch the second game...Hope to see a few of you there :)


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