The basketball match between the Tall Blacks and China in Auckland was abandoned when the visiting team - reportedly unhappy at the standard of refereeing - decided to walk off the court late in the third quarter.

The Kiwis were leading 63-61 when the game at the Bruce Pulman Arena in south Auckland was called off, reported Fairfax.

China's coach Feng Du reportedly indicated to match officials that his team weren't happy with the officiating - the Chinese had been called for 31 fouls to New Zealand's 18 - and that they had decided to withdraw the players from the contest.

The Tall Blacks had received 45 free-throws, with the visitors attempting just 14 when the match was halted.

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According to Fairfax Tall Blacks coach Paul Henare described the move as "disappointing".

"The fact the scrimmage ended early was disappointing, but that was not our call," Henare said.

"We got three good quarters of competitive basketball today and will continue to work on the training court here and in China before we get to Lebanon. We have a long way to go, but I am pleased with what I am seeing from this group."

Reuben Te Rangi was earlier named captain of an inexperienced Tall Blacks squad, with Henare opting to use his team's first foray into the FIBA Asia Zone - next month's Asia Cup in Beirut - as a development opportunity for fringe candidates, a step towards managing the workload of senior players and building much-needed depth at this level.

Te Rangi, 22, was sentenced to 160 hours of community service and six months' supervision, and also ordered to pay $1000 reparation to the victim, after pleading guilty to assault charges after a brawl in a New Plymouth night club in 2014.