New Zealand

Greece stage fourth quarter comeback to end Tall Blacks’ top 16 World Cup dream

Reuben Te Rangi attacks for the Tall Blacks in their Fiba World Cup loss to Greece.

Ezra Acayan/Getty Images

Reuben Te Rangi attacks for the Tall Blacks in their Fiba World Cup loss to Greece.

At Mall of Asia Arena, Manila: Greece 83 (Ioannis Papapetrou 27, Giannoulis Larentzakis 20, Thomas Walkup 10) Tall Blacks 74 (Shea Ili 27, Reuben Te Rangi 19, Finn Delany 10) 1Q: 15-20, HT: 32-43, 3Q: 50-54.

The Tall Blacks will duel it out for the minor placings at the Fiba World Cup after losing to Greece in their crunch final pool game.

Led by a game-high 27 points from Ioannis Papapetrou, Greece delivered a fourth quarter onslaught to end New Zealand’s top 16 hopes, winning 83-74 in Manila on Thursday (NZ time).

Pero Cameron’s side led by 11 at halftime (43-32) and by as many as 15 in the second quarter, but were outscored 33-20 over the final 10 minutes.

Shea Ili was terrific for the Tall Blacks in the losing effort, registering 27 points, eight assists, and five rebounds.

The Tall Blacks will fight it out for positions 17-32 over the rest of the tournament and have classification games against Mexico and Egypt. Their next game is against Mexico on Thursday (8.45pm NZ time).

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