25 August, 2023
10 September
Game Report
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New Zealand put out Egypt's Olympic ambitions

MANILA (Philippines) - Egypt had a chance to book a direct flight to Paris, but they will have to settle for a layover instead. New Zealand defeated them 88-86 in the last game for both squads at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.

Both teams finish at 2-3, and are in the waiting room, searching for confirmation of their spot in one of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments next summer.

Turning point:
New Zealand went on a 15-0 run, taking a double digit lead and keeping Egypt three or four possessions away for most of the game.

But in the final five minutes, Egypt's full court pressure began to bother the Tall Blacks. New Zealand had an 80-70, which evaporated in three minutes, and Ehab Amin's three-pointer ended a 13-2 Egypt run to put the Pharaohs up 83-82 with two minutes to play.

Jordan Ngatai responded with a corner three to put New Zealand back up. Amr El Gendy hit one back, but at 86-86 with 17 seconds to play Reuben Te Rangi drew a blocking foul. He made both shots, while El Gendy's long three did not drop for Egypt on the other end.

TCL Player of the Game: Finn Delany has been a constant threat from day one of this event, and he saved his best for last, picking up 27 points on 8-of-9 shooting, with 4 rebounds, 2 assists and a block.

Honorable mention goes to Izayah Le'afa, who also had 27 points, off the bench.

Stats don't lie: Free throws are important, especially if it's a clutch finish. New Zealand converted 29-of-36 from the charity stripe, a massive advantage compared to Egypt's 13-of-24 shooting from the same distance.

Bottom line:
Both teams can be proud of their performances at the World Cup. New Zealand were one quarter away from reaching the Second Round in their battle with Greece, and Te Rangi, Le'afa and Shea Ili were one of the most lethal backcourts in Manila.

Coach Pero Cameron deserves a lot of credit for his team's response to adversity in the Mall of Asia Arena, and the same can be said about Roy Rana.

Egypt's playcaller has started something special, collected two wins, their first World Cup wins in nearly 30 years, and got to within a game of reaching the Olympics. Ehab Amin earned a lot of fans worldwide, his 19 points and 9 assists made the game interesting once again.

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