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Rondae Hollis-Jefferson's heroics not enough as Jordan falls to New Zealand

Finn Delany had a solid game for New Zealand. FIBA
By Mon Anthony L. Valmoria

PASAY CITY--Even a Kobe Bryant-esque performance coming from Rondae Hollis-Jefferson would not translate into a win by Jordan as they fell to New Zealand, 95-87, in their FIBA World Cup game at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The former TNT Tropang Giga import tallied 39 big points along with nine rebounds and four assists, yet Jordan buckled down to a hungry New Zealand squad.

Despite losing, Hollis-Jefferson did a crazy sequence with 20 seconds left in the fourth that drew "Kobe" chants from the crowd and eventually sent the game into overtime.

Down five, Hollis-Jefferson got fouled on a three which he proceeded to make all three. New Zealand countered with two free throws of their own but Hollis-Jefferson sank an incredible four-point play with 10 seconds to go in regulation.

However, New Zealand was much more composed in the extra period to turn back Hollis-Jefferson's incredible performance. 

Izayah Le'afa scored 23 points as the Tall Blacks avoided an upset after a scare to end regulation, seeing his team give up 7 points in a 10-second span.

With their win, New Zealand goes up to 1-1 in Group C ahead of an all-important match against Greece on Wednesday.

Jordan on the other hand, now has a much harder route to qualify for the second phase of the group stage with a 0-2 record and a game against tournament favorites USA on the same day.

Follow him on X: @_Morval

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