In Jakarta: New Zealand 88 (Flynn Cameron 22, Taki Fahrensohn 16, Tohi Smith-Milner 14) beat Korea 78 (Ra Guna 19, Kim 13, Choi 11.) 1Q: 26-23, 2Q: 40-46, 3Q:60-60
Rising Tall Blacks star FlynnCameron showed composure on the court and control off it, as he narrowly prevented himself from an awkward ‘Dad’ moment at the post-match conference.
In an outstanding final quarter, Cameron drove the Tall Blacks into a semifinal showdown with the Australian Boomers following an upset and hugely significant 88-78 win over Korea in the Asia Cup in Jakarta, Indonesia on Friday morning (NZ time).
With the game locked up 60-60 at three-quarter time, Cameron stepped up – much like his father used to do – with 14 points in a dominant fourth quarter where the 22-year-old guard showed composure, mixed with skill and determination to lead the Kiwis to victory.
The youthful Tall Blacks outscored the highly rated Korea 28-18 in the last quarter.
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Cameron, the MVP for the match, broke into a chuckle at the post-match press conference when he saved himself from using the d-word, just, in a heartwarming family moment.
“It’s a great learning environment being a part of the New Zealand Tall Blacks, coaches like my … Pero,” Cameron said before breaking into laughter when he realized he almost called his coach Dad.
Cameron, who plays for the UC Riverside Highlanders in California where he studies business marketing, also pulled down nine boards and dished out eight assists as well as scoring a game high 22 points.
Taki Fahrensohn scored 16 points, highlighted by four triples from beyond the arc, Tohi Smith-Milner grabbed 14 points and Taine Murray rattled off nine points to go with his six rebounds.
In more welcome news for Pero Cameron’s Tall Blacks, Sam Timmins returned after suffering an ankle injury in the win over Syria, earlier in the week, to pull down 14 rebounds to go with his six points.
Ahead of the weekend’s semi-final against Australia, Pero Cameron said the Asia Cup had already been an invaluable learning experience for all of his young sideespecially the guards.
The Tall Blacks legend turned coach was impressed by his star guard and son but was only too aware there was much development still to come.
“There’s some things he does well and there’s some work ons that he needs to work on, he knows that,” coach Cameron said.
Flynn Cameron felt the team was growing in confidence with every game.
“It’s a great learning environment for not only myself but all the other players on the team, we’re a young team.
“Every game we play we’re constantly growing as a team off the court and on the court and the results show that.”
The other semifinal will be contested between Jordan and Lebanon. The Tall Blacks went down to Lebanon 72-86 last weekend in the only loss for the Kiwis so far.
They did not come up against Jordan or Australia in section play.