Tall Blacks name final 12-man squad for Asia Cup

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NZN

Tall Blacks coach Paul Henare has named his 12-strong squad for next month's Asia Cup in Lebanon.

NZ Tall Blacks Team photo before their match against China.
NZ Tall Blacks v China, Basketball, Bruce Pulman Arena, Auckland, New Zealand. 24 July 2017. © Copyright Image: Marc Shannon / www.photosport.nz.

NZ Tall Blacks Team photo before their match against China.

Source: Photosport

Three days into a six-day training camp, Henare has trimmed his squad by three, with Angus McWilliam, Callum McRae and Quinn Clinton all missing out.

The unlucky trio were all members of the Junior Tall Blacks which contested the under-19 World Cup in Egypt earlier this month.

The Tall Blacks squad will now scrimmage against China in two closed-door games in Auckland before departing tomorrow for more warm-up matches in China.

Henare said McWilliam, McRae and Clinton were unlucky to miss out, but the trio were still part of the Tall Blacks future.

"While they haven't been chosen to go further at this point, there is no question the black jersey is there for them in the future," Henare said.

"They know the progress they need to make and the continued hard work that has to be put in."

Henare has named five debutants in Isaac Letoa, Luke Aston, James Hunter, Dyson King-Hawea and Sam Timmins.

Henare says they add extra depth at the top level as the Tall Blacks eye the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

"The great thing about young players is their eagerness to learn and the freshness with which they approach everything," he said.

"We have spoken about our goals, we have spoken about what is expected of this group and they understand the opportunity that is in front of them."

The team will be led by Reuben Te Rangi, with Finn Delany and Shea Ili also named in a three-man leadership group.

Tall Blacks: Shea Ili, Derone Raukawa, Isaac Letoa, Ethan Rusbatch, Luke Aston, Reuben Te Rangi, Dyson King-Hawea, Jordan Ngatai, Tohi Smith-Milner, Finn Delany, Sam Timmins, James Hunter.

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