Extensive build up to World Champs for Tall Blacks

Wednesday 9 June 2010, 3:36PM
By Dave Worsley

The New Zealand Tall Blacks have today confirmed an extensive build up to the 2010 FIBA Basketball World Championship in Turkey late August.

With trials for the team scheduled for next month in New Zealand there will be a number of players aiming to impress the coaching staff in the local National Basketball League. The build up matches consist of mini tournaments and training camps to be held in Croatia, Slovenia and Turkey.

The extensive schedule will see the Tall Blacks taking on Iran, Serbia and the home team in Istanbul in early August. Then there is a training camp in the same city followed by matches against Russia, Serbia and Slovenia in Maribor, Slovenia with a training camp afterwards.

There is also a mini tournament in Zadar, Croatia featuring matches against Russia, Jordan and the home side.

“It’s great to play the top European teams. To succeed at the world champs you have to beat these teams. It’s a great build up, especially playing in such a hotbed of basketball in nations such as Croatia and Turkey as well as Slovenia,” says Dillon Boucher, a member of the Tall Blacks coaching staff.

Although New Zealand comes up against some highly rated nations at the world champs in Izmir in Turkey, Boucher says there’s no one team which has to be targeted or beaten. Every game is important.

“You have to beat teams to advance, no matter what pool you are in. There are no easy teams as it’s a world championship and every team is there with a purpose – to win,” says Boucher.

Boucher is part of a three-pronged coaching staff with Nenad Vucinic the head coach along with Nelson Giants NBL coach, Chris Tupu as an assistant. Vucinic has been based in Turkey where he has been coaching the Darussafaka team in Istanbul.

Teams in New Zealand’s group at the world champs include world No3 Spain, sixth ranked Lithuania, France at No15, Canada 19 and Lebanon, coached by former Tall Black coach, Tab Baldwin with a ranking of 24.

The Tall Blacks are ranked at 13th in the world according to FIBA rankings.

The Tall Blacks first game at the world championships is against Lithuania, August 28.

July 23 – 25 Trials in Auckland, New Zealand 

July 26 Depart New Zealand

July 28 – August 5 Training camp in Istanbul, Turkey

August 6 – 8 Tournament in Olympic Arena, Istanbul, Turkey (opponents ‐ Iran, Serbia, Turkey)

August 9 – 11 Training camp in Istanbul, Turkey

August 13 – 15 Adecco Cup in Maribor, Slovenia (opponents ‐ Russia, Serbia, Slovenia)

August 16 – 18 Training camp in Rogla, Slovenia

August 20 – 22 World Cup, Zadar, Croatia (opponents ‐ Russia, Jordan, Croatia)

August 24 – 25 Training camp in Izmir, Turkey

August 28 – September 2 FIBA World Championship For Men – First Round, Halkapinar Arena, Izmir, Turkey

August 28 16:00 New Zealand vs Lithuania (GMT +3)

August 29 21:00 Spain vs New Zealand (GMT +3)

August 31 16:00 New Zealand vs Lebanon (GMT +3)

September 1 16:00 Canada vs New Zealand (GMT +3)

September 2 21:00 New Zealand vs France (GMT +3)

September 4 – 7 Eight‐Finals, Sinan Erdem Dom, Istanbul, Turkey

September 8 – 9 Quarter‐Finals, Sinan Erdem Dom, Istanbul, Turkey

September 10 – 11 Semi‐Finals, Sinan Erdem Dom, Istanbul, Turkey September 12 Finals, Sinan Erdem Dom, Istanbul, Turkey