Tall Blacks breeze past Hong Kong with dominant World Cup qualifier win

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NZN

The Tall Blacks have gone on a scoring spree against hapless Hong Kong to win their World Cup qualifier 133-74.

New Zealand had just three days, including a flight to Hong King, to turn around their disappointing home court loss to Korea which began the Asian zone qualifying process.

They faced little resistance against their 82nd-ranked opponents, pulling 30 points clear by halftime, allowing coach Paul Henare to give extended court time to his bench.

Jordan Ngatai took advantage, top-scoring with 18 points.

He was among seven players to register double figures, with captain Reuben Te Rangi on the next line with 16 points, along with three steals.

Playmaker Shea Ili was also busy, racking up 14 points, eight assists and five bounds,

Henare says it was an all-round pleasing performance.

"It wasn't a case of us settling for the three's, I just kept telling the boys to take their shots as they came, and they did a great job in executing."

The win was an important one for his team, he said.

"That gets us underway, our first win in FIBA Asia World Cup qualifying, and one that will give the players confidence for our next window in February when we travel to Korea and China."

The other game in New Zealand's group was a 92-81 win by unbeaten China over Korea, leaving them on top of the standings.

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