CROCS FINISH SIXTH AT FIBA UNDER-17 WORLD CUP WITH LOSS TO TURKEY
While the result does not match the lofty standards set by Australia when they claimed the silver medal in 2012 and 2014, it is their equal-third best result overall in tournament history and the Crocs still finished with a winning record of 4-3.
Having lost to Turkey by two points in the group stage, the Aussies were prepared for another close encounter and while they owned a three-point advantage at half-time, the lead would change hands ten times before the final siren sounded.
Turkey fought back to tie the game heading into the fourth quarter and then carried that momentum to own an eight-point lead with just under six minutes remaining.
Luke Jackson (18 points, eight rebounds, four assists) responded with six points, including two free-throws, while Tamuri Wigness (18 points) and Hunter Clarke also connected from the charity stripe to keep the Crocs close.
Joel Capetola (three points, four assists, two steals) then knocked down a shot through contact, scoring the three-point play to draw Australia level with two minutes to go.
Turkey remained calm, answering with a 7-1 run of their own but Jackson and Wani Swaka Lo Buluk (13 points, two steals, one block) countered with baskets of their own.
Clarke (12 points) then came up with a huge play, getting the steal at one end before draining a three at the other to make it a one-point game with only six seconds on the clock.
Time was their enemy though which meant they were forced to foul Turkey and an offensive rebound off the missed second attempt doomed the Crocs before they eventually fell by four points in a gallant effort.
Find the box score here.
Matched on the boards as a team, Jackson and Travers still toiled tirelessly in the paint for Australia to combine for 27 points and 18 rebounds while Travers recorded three blocks and Wigness equalled Turkey’s efforts with three three-pointers.
Australia’s attentions now turn to the Sapphires who will be aiming to defend their 2016 gold medal when they begin their Under-17 World Cup campaign on July 21 in Minsk, Belarus.
Find the Sapphires team and schedule here.
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