The New Zealand Men have been beaten 64-50 by Egypt in the opening game of the Fiba U17 World Cup in Argentina.
In their first ever appearance at the U17 World Cup New Zealand understandably started nervously and trailed 14-11 at quarter time.
The team struggled to make shots all night converting just 16 from 65 from the floor (25%) and an even lower 11% (3 from 28) from beyond the arc. The lack of scoring power meant New Zealand trailed by 14 points at half-time (33-19).
Shooting guard Kainoa Lepou with 13 points (6/12FG) led a third quarter revival to reduce the deficit to 46-40 but NZ were unable to get closer than six points in the final period.
Lepou added 7 rebounds to his team high points tally with Shalom Broughton (7 points and 15 rebounds), Haven Dixon (2 points and 13 rebounds) and Anzac Rissetto (5 points and 9 rebounds) helping NZ gain parity on the boards (56-55).
Tomorrow New Zealand has a must win game against Montenegro who went down to Canada (92-67) in the other Group C game today.
New Zealand Scorers: K Lepou 13/7r, M Dance 10, J McKinlay 8, S Broughton 7/15r, A Rissetto 5/9r, H Dixon 2/13, T Cowie 2, M Williams-Dunn 2, E Vaigafa 2