Tall Blacks draw tough teams at 2019 World Cup

By Rahia Timutimu

The Tall Blacks now know just who they will be facing in pool play at this year’s FIBA World Cup in China this August and September, with the draw made in the host country of China.

The NZ team have been places in Group F out of a total of eight pools of four teams each, alongside powerful sides Greece, Montenegro and Brazil. 

The games will be held in the city of Nanjing.

“This is always an exciting part of the journey to a World Cup, to finally find out who we will play and begin to put our plans in place.  Obviously it will be tough, it should be and will be, that is basketball.  Our world ranking consistently puts us in amongst the world’s best teams, but basketball is one of the true global sports, with anyone in the top 50 or 60 capable of beating a top ten team on their day.”

“Greece and Brazil will be the obvious favourites in the pool, but Montenegro is also a proud basketball nation, we will get to work on some plans on how to achieve success against them all.  My job now, with the coaching and support staff, is to pull together a preparation that will give us a shot of playing to our potential, and then of course selecting the final roster.  After our qualifying campaign we have plenty of players putting their hands up to be on that plane.”

 The coaching staff of the Tall Blacks have been here before, Henare and his assistant coach Pero Cameron were both in the well-known 2002 roster that beat the odds and finished in fourth place overall.