New Zealand Squeezes out 63-60 Victory over Lebanon

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The basketball team of Lebanon was only a few seconds away from another victory after its historic win over the Chinese team in Beirut as part of the FIBA's 2019 World Cup qualifiers.

Despite the absence of four main players and the blatant and unfair referee mistakes, Lebanon played a big game against New Zealand which managed to squeeze out a 63-60 victory in the last 20 seconds.

The Tall Blacks fell behind by as many as 11 points in their match against the confident Lebanese, but they kept chipping at the deficit throughout the contest till they unleashed a strong finishing kick to steal the game from the Cedars.

The New Zealand men, now 7-1, have taken a firm grip on top spot in Group E of the second stage of qualifying, with Lebanon slipping back to 6-2.

Ater Majok was Lebanon's most influential player, centre posting a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds. Though he was credited with just one blocked shot, he altered numerous others with his length troubling the Tall Blacks big men inside.

Slick guard Elias Rustom paced the visitors with 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting, while Ahmad Ibrahim pitched in a handy 11 points.

The Tall Blacks claimed a miraculous comeback after they had played catch up for almost the entire match in Rotorua with poor shooting from the field seriously hindering their cause.

The home side shot just under 28 per cent from the field, seriously behind their Lebanese opponents who shot 38 per cent.

Lebanon's next assignment is against Korea on November 29.

Source: Kataeb.org and Agencies