Central Coast Crusaders’ small forward, Matthew Kenyon, has played a key role in the Australian Boomers win over New Zealand in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifier.
The Australian Boomers came away with a convincing 81-52 point win over the Tall Blacks in the qualifier match played in Cairns on Saturday, February 20.
Kenyon, from Avoca Beach, scored six points and earned 10 rebounds with two assists.
The Boomers got off to a strong start with Reyne Smith scoring a three-pointer within the first minute, and from this starting point they did not give up their lead.
Nonetheless, the Tall Blacks maintained a persistent trail throughout the first three quarters, not falling behind by more than 15 points.
A third quarter three pointer by Tall Black, Jonathan Janssen brought his team’s deficit to its smallest margin since the opening quarter, causing Boomers head coach, Adam Caporn, to call a timeout with score balanced at 39-44.
From here, the Boomers re-established a cushioned lead, going into the final quarter break with a 12 point lead of 43-55.
In the final period, the Boomers maintained their lead and slowly added to it, pushing themselves ahead into an impervious position.
In the end, the Tall Blacks were unable to equal the Boomers’ third quarter score, a testament to the fitness and composure of the young Australian team.
There was a lot at stake for the two trans-Tasman teams, with the game counting towards qualification for the FIBA Asia Cup to be held in Indonesia this August, and then in turn reaching the qualifying phase of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
The Boomers win has levelled out Group C of the qualifiers, with both Australia and New Zealand now sitting on 5 points after three games, with Australia leading due to points for and against difference.