The Tall Ferns will need to make adjustments quickly before their second Asia Cup match against DPR Korea. The team lost heavily to China 77 -48, but are still alive to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
The plan seemed simple; score as many points as possible, and stay close to China.
Coach Kereama says, “We picked a particular game-plan, we picked our poison as we say. [We] wanted to really do a great job at taking away any post presence that China gave.”
Height was one thing that the New Zealanders were giving up over their counterparts. Unfortunately, the Chinese were able to capitalise on their height advantage over the Tall Ferns.
“I credit China for their ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter. For us, I think defensively we know we got some areas we need to improve.”
The Tall Ferns are competing for the first time in the Asia Cup. The competition features international stars like Asami Yoshida from Japan Kim Danbi from Korea and Shao Ting from China. The switch is a step up in intensity that they're used to playing in Oceania.
“Adjusting to that full-court intense physical style of defence that the Asian teams are going to bring is something our group is going to have to get used to very quickly.”
Their next opponents DPR Korea are ranked last in the tournament. Despite their placing, Kereama insists his team will not take their opponents lightly.
“We obviously now just put our focus into that game, it's obviously a very winnable game for us. But for us to win, we're going to have to do a better job of obviously rebounding and winning possession.”
It's still early days, but the Tall Ferns need to win their next two matches to give them a favourable run the quarter-finals.