Basketball NZ, Tall Blacks take aim at FIBA after pinning 'ugly' win against Lebanon on tough travel schedule

Basketball New Zealand has re-ignited its call for more High Performance Sport New Zealand funding while also taking a shot at FIBA after the Tall Blacks moved to the cusp of World Cup qualification.

The Tall Blacks’ 63-60 win over Lebanon in Rotorua was marred by a poor shooting performance in which the hosts only netted 28 per cent of their attempted shots.

Both teams struggled after a marathon 43-hour travel schedule which saw the Tall Blacks leave Beirut at shortly after their 107-66 win over Syria last Friday

They arrived in Rotorua on Sunday morning at 2:30am.

Head coach Paul Henare said the draining journey reflected in the match.

"It was just a bit disappointing with the scheduling from FIBA that it had to be a grind out game," he said.

"It was never going to be pretty, it was always going to be ugly and I'm sure that's not what FIBA are trying to achieve."

Basketball NZ CEO Iain Potter says the sport’s governing body needs to look at the bigger picture.

"I don't think FIBA has fully appreciated the travel logistics to get from the Middle East to New Zealand.

"It's no surprise the players were demonstrating some mental and physical fatigue."

But the travel has also reiterated Basketball NZ's calls for more government funding.

Each window costs the organisation NZ$100,000 and this year’s series of qualifiers are particularly taking its toll, Potter said.

"We are going to run at a loss this year because of the four windows in this calendar year.

"It constrains us at times in terms of what we can do with the team."

And their case is now becoming stronger to HPSNZ.

World Cup qualification is within reach with home wins over Jordan and Syria later this year likely enough to book their ticket to China.

Both teams struggled in last night’s World Cup qualifier after clocking up 43 hours of travel earlier this week. Source: 1 NEWS


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