Six current and three former members of the SIT Zero Fees Southland Sharks will line up in Sunday morning's Trans-Tasman semifinal at the FIBA Asia Cup in Beirut, Lebanon.
Reuben Te Rangi, Derone Raukawa, James Hunter and Luke Aston, along with former Sharks Shea Ili and Ethan Rusbatch, will square-off against 2017 Sharks' team mates Mitch Norton and Nick Kay and 2015 Shark Todd Blanchfield, as both the New Zealand Tall Blacks and Australian Boomers earned comfortable semifinal victories this morning.
Australia booked its place with a 97-71 drubbing of China. A 14-0 run over the final four minutes of the third period saw the Boomers take a sixteen point lead into the last quarter where they then cruised to the final 26-point differential. The second half saw the Australians tighten the screw defensively, allowing just 29 points.
Kay finished with 7 points and 3 rebounds and Norton 2 points with 3 assists.
The Tall Blacks also finished strongly, absorbing a third quarter run by Jordan which saw it get within 3 points at one stage, before the YoungBloods closed the game out with a 32-13 final quarter to earn a 98-70 win and a date with their arch rival.
The game is scheduled to tip at 6am Sunday (NZ time) and will be streamed live at www.maoritelevision.com
Iran and Korea face off in the first Semifinal.