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Tall Blacks brace for quarterfinal showdown with Jordan at Fiba Asia Cup

Luke Aston is loving his first taste of the Tall Blacks environment at the Fiba Asia Cup.

The Tall Blacks' quarterfinal opponents at the Fiba Asia Cup have been found as they prepare for a showdown with Jordan on Friday morning [NZ time].

Luke Aston is loving his first taste of the Tall Blacks environment at the Fiba Asia Cup. Robyn Edie
Despite possessing a young a mostly inexperienced team the Tall Blacks emerged from pool play after their last pool game against South Korea on Sunday.

They then had to wait to find out just who their opponent will be, with Jordan now confirmed in that quarterfinal spot.

The New Zealand team has an average age of 23 and have shown steady improvement under the coaching team led by Paul Henare, and the leadership of captain Reuben Te Rangi.

Luke Aston was one of the bolters named for the tour with the Southland Shark impressing with his shooting and work ethic on a recent New Zealand Select Tour.

The 26-year-old Otago Boys' High School product is loving being a Tall Black.

"It is high-level basketball and it has been a great experience to be in amongst it and sponge as much as I can off everyone," Aston said.

"New Zealand Select was a good step, and then playing China in camp was another step and then here in Beirut, being in that gym and part of the atmosphere against Lebanon the other night was just crazy."

"I have spoken with Pauli a few times and he has said 'be ready' and of course it is a team game and we are going well. It was tough in the beginning but we are winning and I am all the better for this experience for sure, but I am ready should I get the call."

Fellow Southland Sharks James Hunter has also been on a whirlwind rise, playing well for New Zealand Select in China, earning a fulltime contract with the Breakers and now the Tall Black opportunity.

Hunter is looking to learn as much as he can from the coaches and players around him.

"It is the international experience, the fact you come up against different teams every game and seeing how they play each day to the next. You have to shift so much in this environment, to see how it works and get this hit-out in the international environment, it is so good.

"I like to joke around with the boys but when it is time to work I get down to work and focus on what is important.

The Tall Blacks quarterfinal against Jordan on Friday morning will tip off at 6am [NZ time].

Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/basketball/95835099/tall-blacks-brace-for-quarterfinal-showdown-with-jordan-at-fiba-asia-cup

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