By Justine Juyad

PHOTO: Inquirer Sports

New Zealand kickstarted their 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers campaign with a blowout victory against India, 101-46 at Smart Araneta Coliseum, on Thursday afternoon.

The Tall blacks showed that they're too much to handle against the Indians as they started strong as expected and finished stronger to rout the young-laden team by 55.

Rob Loe powered the team with his double-double performance, 15 points, and 10 rebounds, while Tom Voldanovich led all scorers with his 21 markers, followed by Ethan Rusbatch who collected 18 points and 5 assists.

The Kiwis began the demolition early as they closed out the opening quarter with a 24-point lead, 32-8.

New Zealand continued adding up to their lead by converting India's turnovers into their points and finished the first half with a 52-25 lead.

The Tall blacks then sustained their dominant basketball in the second half, doubling their first half lead before the final buzzer to close the dominant opening win.

Meanwhile, Sahaij Pratap Singh Sekhon led India with his 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists being the only player in their team with double figures.

New Zealand will face Gilas Pilipinas next on Sunday, while India will go up against the hosts this Friday.

Edited by Jostle Doen Pilayre