Tai Jack Webster scored 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to help New Zealand in an 89-80 win over Philippines in the qualifying round for the Rio Olympics, in the Mall of Asia, Philippines.
Webster’s consistency at both ends of the floor provided the lead for New Zealand from the starting tipoff until the end as Gilas Pilipinas couldn’t match the intensity being applied to them. Corey Webster added 23 points and seven rebounds for New Zealand, who controlled the game despite the several attempts of the Philippines to rally back. Isaac Fotu scored 17 points as the third scorer of New Zealand.
For Gilas, Andray Blatche had 30 points and seven rebounds, including 4-for-7 from outside the arc. Blatche was active outside and in driving the basket to the rim but the power of New Zealand in matching every points the Gilas scored was superb. Terrance Romeo, who scored 19 points against France, was able to make only five points as the defense of New Zealand was tight. Jayson Castro had 13 points while Jeff Chan and June Mar Pajardo had 11 points each.
New Zealand entered into the semifinals while Gila Pilipines was eliminated to the dismay of millions of their fans.