New Zealand defeated Angola 68-64 at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Caracas but due to points difference are eliminated from the qualifiers.
Angola and FYR of Macedonia are now just one win away from booking their spots at this month’s Olympic Games in London.
Tai Webster showed his high expectations once again for New Zealand with 21 points. Eduardo Mingus led Angola with a double double of 17 points and 10 rebounds.
New Zealand struggled to start but after over two minutes without scoring, went on a 7-0 run and led after the first quarter, 14-12.
The Tall Blacks led 40-26 at the half-time break and stood a good chance to reach their target of a 22 point win that was needed for London tickets.
Angola put up much more of a fight in second half and cut the New Zealanders lead to six points at the end of third quarter and just four points at the end of the game, but unfortunately, it wasn’t enough.