The New Zealand team was no match for European champions France in the round of sixteen at the Fiba World Cup in Rosario today losing 88-48.
The Kiwis, wearing white for the encounter, fought valiantly but the long athletic French outfit demonstrated why they are one of the favourites for the U17 World Cup title with an athletic display.
New Zealand started satisfactorily with a banked French three on the first quarter buzzer giving them a slightly flattering 24-15 lead after Mitch Dance, Kainoa Lepou and Marvin Williams-Dunn had each made triples for NZ.
Turnovers at the back end of the second quarter really hurt the Kiwis effort. A ten point deficit three minutes before half-time became an 18 point hole (47-29) at the interval – Williams-Dunn led the New Zealand effort with 8 points in the first half.
The turnover count (27) was blight on the Kiwi effort as was the perimeter shooting – 4 made from 19 attempts (21%).
Anzac Rissetto (9 points and 8 rebounds), a tower of strength in the middle, made a couple of scores early in the third and Lepou did the same late in the same stanza but France were well in control at three-quarter time leading 68-45.
Unfortunately the lead blew out further in the third as the Kiwi resistance tired.
New Zealand will enjoy a day off today before beginning the play-offs for places 9-16 on Saturday (NZ time).
New Zealand 48 – K Lepou 11, M Williams-Dunn 9, A Rissetto 9, M Dance 7, J McKinlay 3, T Cowie 2, E Vaigafa 2, H Payne 2, S Broughton 2, H Dixon 1