Basketball: Jordan end Tall Blacks' 10-game winning streak in World Cup qualifying

Jordan have ended the Tall Blacks' 10-game winning streak through World Cup qualifying, eding the Kiwis 86-80 in their final preliminary outing in Amman.

Their victory saw the home team celebrating wildly, after sneaking into this year's world championships in China as one of the final qualifiers.

Sharpshooter Corey Webster led New Zealand's scoring with 18 points, along with seven assists, while point guard Shea Ili had 16 points and eight rebounds.

After their dramatic 69-67 win over Lebanon two nights earlier, an under-manned Tall Blacks never led after half-time against Jordan and trailled by as many as 12 points in the final quarter.

Webster's jump shot with 4m 11s remaining drew his team within a point (70-69), but Jordan scored the next six points to draw away again and control the final moments.

With the final qualifying window jammed hard up against the Australian NBL playoffs, coach Paul Henare elected to release Mika Vukona, Reuben Te Rangi and Alex Pledger back to their clubs after the Lebanon game, leaving him with a line-up composed mainly of NZ Breakers players.

The Tall Blacks were already missing European-based professionals Tai Webster and Issac Fotu, as well as players attending US colleges.

Fortunately, New Zealand were already safely through to the their fifth straight world championship tournament - their first through the Asian qualifying route.

They had not lost since their opening qualifying game against Korea on November 23, 2017.

"We started the whole thing with a losse and unfortunately finished with a loss," said Henare afterwards.

"I said to the guys afterwards I never questioned their heart and the way they played, but there is definitely a lot to learn from the game and losing at this level, the repercussions are harsh.

"At the end of the day, it's been a good journey for us. We have a locker room full of disappointed players and staff right now, but we've got to move on from this quickly."

The 32-team World Cup begins August 31, with the draw scheduled for March 16.


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