AUSSIE MEN AND WOMEN ADVANCE TO 2018 FIBA 3X3 ASIA CUP FINALS
Taking on Japan in their opening game, the Aussie women started with a 7-0 run courtesy of Bec Cole’s lightning quick moves to the basket and Maddie Garrick’s deadly three-point shot.
Defensively, Carlie Smith and Keely Froling were able to cut off the passing planes, stopping Japan from even getting a shot up.
A couple of two-pointers got Japan on the board finally but Cole continued to penetrate with ease and Froling halted any potential run for the Japanese with two massive rejections as Australia ran out 20-14 victors.
They were back on court an hour later against Iran and Garrick and Cole picked up where they had left off with three two-pointers to start.
Iran exerted a little muscle with a block on Froling but they could not find an easy shot as Australia’s defence provided a stranglehold on the contest.
Cole was again able to slice her way to the basket as well and when Smith nailed a two from the corner, the Aussies had clinched a 22-3 victory with 2:45 still left on the clock.
The Australian women will now get set for a Quarter-Final clash against Indonesia at 4.05pm AEST tomorrow before the Semi-Finals are held around 7pm with the final scheduled for 10.45pm as they aim to defend their 2017 gold medal.
In similar fashion to the women, the Aussie men began their first contest of the day against Kazakhstan with several two-pointers as Andrew Steel and Tom Garlepp opened up a 7-1 advantage.
Kazakhstan responded with a long-range bomb themselves but Steel immediately grabbed the ball, retreated to the corner and knocked down another two-pointer for the instant response.
They were in control wire-to-wire and Owen Odigie was able to get in on the action before Steel finished off a clinical shooting display for a 22-8 victory with more than four minutes left on the clock.
Coming up against New Zealand for a place in the Quarter-Finals, Australia found the going much tougher as the Kiwi’s brought the physical nature to the game early.
Garlepp was able to match the intensity though, knocking down step-back jumpers or forcing his way to the bucket and getting to the free-throw line.
His efforts made it a 5-5 game at the halfway mark before Tom Wright drilled a shot off a nifty crossover before a crucial steal off a New Zealand rebound from Steel led to a Garlepp basket that finally gave Australia some breathing room on the scoreboard.
A few empty trips opened the door momentarily for New Zealand but Wright slammed that opportunity shut with a reverse lay-up, followed by an and-one lay-up as he proved unstoppable in getting to the rim.
Australia snared a 19-14 victory over their Trans-Tasman rivals to book a place in the Quarter-Finals where they will take on South Korea at 4.45pm AEST.
A win in that game will then see them advance to the Semi-Finals around 8pm with their gold medal game scheduled for 11.15pm as they aim to improve on their bronze medal result from 2017.
Watch the Quarter and Semi-Finals below thanks to FIBA 3×3 with the link to the medal games available here.
Australia’s Schedule at the 2018 FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup (all times AEST):
May 1: Australian Women Quarter-Final vs. Indonesia at 4.05pm
May 1: Australian Men Quarter-Final vs. South Korea at 4.45pm
May 1: Women’s Semi-Finals at 6.55pm or 7.25pm
May 1: Men’s Semi-Finals at 8.05pm or 8.35pm
May 1: Women’s Bronze Medal (9.15pm) and Gold Medal (10.45pm)
May 1: Men’s Bronze Medal (9.45pm) and Gold Medal (11.15pm)
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