Tall Blacks: No issue on ‘Haka’ in Manila
Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - July 9, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Tall Blacks are not about ready to launch a protest after Filipino sports fans jeered the New Zealand squad while they performed their traditional “haka” before the game against Gilas Pilipinas last Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Tall Blacks are taking things in stride.

“Different people react in different ways to it,” said one of New Zealand’s top players Tai Webster told ABS CBN Sports of the incident that was merely a case of Filipino sports fans being unaware of the “haka,” a war dance that its people have carried into every sporting arena.

Pinoy sports fans must have misinterpreted the move as being provocative when in fact it should have been observed with respect.

“I guess it was just their way of reacting to it and the crowd getting behind the home team and what not. It’s expected, but you know, it is what it is,” said Webster, who played a key role in New Zealand’s 89-80 win over Gilas.

The victory slammed the door on the Filipinos who took a second loss in as many games and bowed out of the race for the lone Rio Olympics slot being staked in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament that comes to a close tomorrow.

Only the champion gets to Rio.

The Tall Blacks are in the semis together with the teams from France, Turkey and Canada.

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