AUSTRALIA BOOK SEMI-FINAL BERTH AT ALBERT SCHWEITZER TOURNAMENT
Not for the first time in the tournament, the Aussies found themselves in a battle through the opening stanza as Turkey scored the first eight points of the game but Samson Froling was able to settle them before Josh Gatbel (nine points, seven rebounds) brought some life to the team with an early dunk.
They headed into quarter-time only down by five but took their defence to another level in the second quarter which Turkey could not match.
Australia held their opposition to 2-11 shooting in the term and continued to force Turkey into attempts late in the shot clock from distance as they also shot 0-5 from the three-point line.
At the other end of the floor, Aiden Krause (11 points, nine boards, six assists) and Keli Leaupepe (seven points) kept the scoreboard ticking over and the Aussies put together a 12-0 run to move in front by half-time.
Ensuring they would not surrender the lead, Froling then added 12 points of his own in the third period, stepping out to knock down a three as well as he almost out-scored Turkey by himself.
He finished with another double-double, tallying 23 points, ten rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks while shooting 7-10 from the field and 2-3 from beyond the arc.
Australia hit 52% from the field overall and while they only hit 4-12 from distance, Turkey managed just 1-11 three-point shooting in a clinical defensive effort from the Aussies.
Find the box score here.
With only the top two teams from each group advancing to the Semi-Finals, Australia have finished second in Group B and will now meet the undefeated Italians for a spot in the gold medal game at 1.45am AEST early Saturday.
Italy have owned the second most efficient offence through the group stage but Australia have proven to be the best defensive team which sets up a mouth-watering clash.
Australia’s Schedule for the 2018 Albert Schweitzer Tournament (all times AEST):
April 7 Semi-Final: Australia vs. Italy at 1.45am
April 7 Bronze Medal Playoff: 10pm
April 8 Gold Medal Playoff: 12.15am
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