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Webster, Abercrombie to miss next round of World Cup qualifying as Tall Blacks name experienced squad

The Tall Blacks have named an experienced squad for the next phase of World Cup qualifying but will be without proven veterans Corey Webster and Tom Abercrombie.

Abercrombie hasn't been considered due to a hamstring injury he sustained while training for the Breakers this week while Webster has been given time off due to personal issues.

The star shooting guard has only just returned to New Zealand after playing in China and has been given a break to settle back in and prepare for the upcoming NBL season with the Breakers.

As a result, Ethan Rusbatch and Dion Prewster have been called into the squad which will be led by Mika Vukona.

The team also has the talents of overseas-based players such as Isaac Fotu and Tai Webster at their disposal.

Coach Paul Henare said the team is looking to send a message in the next round of qualifying after passing the first round with a record of five wins and one loss.

"We will not take anything for granted, that is a recipe for disaster. The fact is we are not yet qualified and must continue to pick up wins to keep pace at the top of the group.

"We know how tough these road trips are going to be and the hurdles we will have to overcome, we cannot and will not let our guard down for one moment.”

The will play Syria, Lebanon and Jordan twice over the next six months with the top three teams in the group qualifying for the World Cup in China next year.

Tall Blacks

Guards: Shea Ili, Breakers; Jarrod Kenny, Cairns Taipans; Ethan Rusbatch, Bay Hawks; Tai Webster, Galatasaray (Turkey);

Forwards: Reuben Te Rangi, Brisbane Bullets; Dion Prewster, Bay Hawks; Jordan Ngatai, Breakers; Isaac Fotu, Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany); Finn Delany, Breakers; Mika Vukona, Brisbane Bullets;

Centres: Rob Loe, Cairns Taipans; Tohi Smith-Milner, Melbourne United

Finn Delany, Tall Blacks in action during the FIBA Asia Cup 8-20 August 2017 in Lebanon. Photo: FIBA
Finn Delany, Tall Blacks in action during the FIBA Asia Cup. Source: Photosport


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