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Paul Henare's Tall Blacks upset Lebanon to improve to 2-0 at Fiba Asia Cup

Paul Henare's youthful Tall Blacks have stunned hosts Lebanon to win their second group game at the Fiba Asia Cup in Beirut.

The New Zealanders advanced to 2-0 in Group C with an 86-82 upset over Lebanon that silenced a vocal home crowd and left the Kiwi youngsters in with a good shot of a top finish in their pool and an easier quarterfinal matchup later in the tournament.

Reuben Te Rangi led the Tall Blacks to a surprise win over Lebanon, silencing a vocal home crowd. FIBA photo
The Tall Blacks had been expected to find the experienced host side too tough on their home court, but instead came out and produced a measured and heady performance to secure the most notable result of the tournament thus far.

Henare has given all his most experienced players this campaign off and gone with a young side – average age 23 – to garner experience and build depth. It's hard to fault that policy with what we've seen so far from his group, including five debutants at this level.

Breakers point guard guard Shea Ili paced the New Zealanders with 22 points (7/14 FG), three rebounds and four assists, while skipper Reuben Te Rangi added 15 points (6/10 FG), eight boards and three assists.

Washington University big man Sam Timmins chipped in with 13 points and eight rebounds for the Kiwis, while Tohi Smith-Milner added a valuable 15 points and six boards.

The Tall Blacks meet the South Koreans next up.

Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/basketball/95673152/paul-henares-tall-blacks-upset-lebanon-to-improve-to-20-at-fiba-asia-cup

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