MANILA, Philippines — New Zealand overcame Jordan’s marvelous comeback attempts through the lead of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson by bagging their overtime play, 95-87, at the first round of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup Group Phase in Mall of Asia Arena on Monday, Aug. 28.
Hollis-Jefferson lived up to Kobe Bryant comparisons and exploded for 39 markers as he rallied Jordan in forcing an extension – which includes a clutch, foul-clinching trey – amid being down by as much as 12 and eight markers heading to the final salvo, 65-87.
But the Tall Blacks awakened from last quarter slumber and tallied 10 points in overtime while also limiting the Jordanian squad by a lowly 2 markers to finally be on the win board of the World Cup.
Izaya Le’afa carried the Kiwis with his 23 points as they are now slated to face Greece on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Hollis-Jefferson and Jordan will look to close out the first round on a high note as they are about to face a challenging United States on the same day.