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Tall Blacks bounce back to net convincing win over Japan in World Cup warm-up clash

The Tall Blacks have bounced back from their disappointing loss to Japan earlier this week with an impressive 104-87 victory against the same opponents last night.

After a slow start saw them eventually lose 99-89 on Monday night, the Tall Blacks returned to the court with something to prove in Kawasaki last night and had five players post double-digit scores in a vastly-improved performance.

Ethan Rusbatch was the surprising player leading the way with the Hawke's Bay guard top-scoring with 16 points on six-of-eight shooting, including an impressive three-from-five clip from behind the arc. He finished with five rebounds as well.

Rusbatch's figures led an overall improvement from the Tall Blacks who shot 49 per cent for the match and 13 of 37 [35 per cent] from three-point range.

Another big contrast from Monday was the Tall Blacks' ability to limit the damage of recently drafted NBA rookie Rui Hachimura.

Hachimura scored 35 points in Monday's win but last night was limited to 19 and nine rebounds.

The Tall Blacks now head to Australia for another two international matches against Canada before they compete in the Four Nations tournament later this month.

The World Cup starts on August 31 with the Tall Blacks' first match a day later against Brazil.


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