It was great while it lasted but for the Kiwis the Olympic dream is over! The atmosphere in the Olympic Basketball Stadium was great, bringing back memories of our Unforgettable, Magical, Dream Olympics nearly 4 years ago. Unbelievable - Athens 2004 feels like yesterday!
I felt like the Lone Ranger - 1 silver fern flag amongst a sea of Aegean blue and white..
Here is what the press said...
Olympic dream shattered for Tall BlacksNZPA | Saturday, 19 July 2008 www.stuff.co.nz
The New Zealand men's basketball team has been crushed in its attempt to qualify for the Olympics.
The team was humbled 48-75 by Greece in the quarterfinals of the Olympic qualifying tournament this morning.
Spurred on by a raucous crowd of 20,000 at the Olympic qualifying tournament quarterfinal, Greece were too classy in every department for a Tall Blacks side whose hopes of reaching the Beijing Games next month rested on a top-three finish.
It is the first time since 1996 that New Zealand won't field a men's basketball team at the Olympics.
A Tall Blacks side missing several unavailable or retired senior players always faced a daunting task against the tournament favourites and world championship silver medalists.
They were never in the hunt after a disastrous first five minutes in which they fell behind 15-2 and veteran forward Pero Cameron picked up two fouls.
The lead was pegged to 22-12 by quarter time but New Zealand steadily lost ground from from there, trailing 20-37 at halftime and 36-55 with a quarter to play.
A gulf in class was evident at both ends of the court, particularly when the Tall Blacks were in possession. moreFor more info and points tables visit www.athens2008.fiba.com