BILBAO, Spain – University of Hawai`i men’s basketball junior Isaac Fotu helped lead his native New Zealand to its first win at the 2014 FIBA World Cup on Wednesday. Fotu finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds—the first double-double for the Kiwis in the tournament—in a 73-61 win over Ukraine.
Foto, who shot 5-of-8 from the floor and also added an assist, got the double-double in 25 minutes of action off the bench. The win kept the Tall Blacks (1-3) in the hunt for a place in the top four of Group C and a spot in the Round of 16 in Barcelona. New Zealand closes out pool play on Thursday versus Finland. Fotu is averaging of 7.0 ppg and 4.5 rpg while shooting 55 percent from the floor, through the team’s first four games.
The win came just a day after Fotu and the Kiwis fell to Team USA in a nationally televised match-up. Fotu finished with eight points in that contest, while he and his fellow Tall Blacks performed the haka in a pregame ritual that drew world-wide attention.
Fotu is one of just five collegiate players competing in the World Cup and one of two Rainbow Warriors. Former all-conference center Vander Joaquim is averaging 6.8 ppg and 4.0 rpg through Angola’s first four contests (1-3).
*Courtesy of Hawai’i Athletics*