CROCS ENTER FIBA U16 ASIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS GOLD MEDAL PLAYOFF
The Aussies claimed a wire-to-wire 86-61 victory to book a spot in the gold medal playoff on the back of a stunning offensive performance from their starting five.
Tamuri Wigness set the tone in the first term, scoring seven points before the first break and he went on to pace the Crocs with 24 points on 10-10 shooting that included 3-3 from beyond the arc.
After drilling the two game-clinching three-pointers against Korea in their last game, Wani Swaka Lo Buluk began the Semi-Final with a triple and he went on to hit 5-8 from long range to finish with 21 points and three assists.
Luke Jackson was also highly efficient, utilising his length to take advantage in the paint and score 19 points on 8-10 shooting while Luke Travers flirted with a triple-double, recording 11 points, six boards, eight assists, two steals and two blocks.
Having struggled to find the bottom of the net against Korea, the Crocs looked like a different team against New Zealand and they ended the game shooting 68% from the field and 11-18 (61%) from the three-point line.
The Kiwi’s were able to keep Australia close through the early stages as their relentless attack on the rim resulted in 12 first quarter free-throw attempts but a 14-0 run to start the second period gave the Crocs some breathing room.
Going back and forth through the third term, New Zealand looked to have found a way through Australia’s zone defence but they could not get the stops at the other end to truly cut into the deficit.
Joel Capetola (five points, two assists) chimed in with a couple of important baskets to help the Crocs add another 7-0 run to the scoreboard at the start of the fourth quarter and the Aussies were then able to cruise to the finish line.
Find the box score here and watch the replay below.
Having already secured a spot in the Under-17 World Cup later this year, the Crocs can now put the icing on the cake with a FIBA Under-16 Asian Championship gold medal against either China or Philippines tomorrow night.
All contests through the tournament will be live-streamed by FIBA and simulcast on the Basketball Australia Facebook page.
Stay tuned to Basketball Australia’s social media channels for updates throughout the competition.
The Australian Crocs Schedule for the Under-16 Asian Championships (all times AEST):
April 8 Gold Medal: Australia vs. China/Philippines at 8pm
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