DAY 2 SPLIT ENOUGH FOR MEN TO ADVANCE TO FIBA 3X3 ASIA CUP FINALS
Australia opened the day with an Oceaniac battle against New Zealand and it was a physical contest throughout that saw bodies constantly sprawled across the floor.
That style of play suited Owen Odigie whose hustle was on display from the opening tip but the Aussies had trouble with the shorter shot clock as New Zealand jumped out to a 9-4 advantage.
New Zealand’s Rory Fannon utilised his size under the rim and worked in simple pick and rolls to force switches in Australia’s defence which enabled him to go to work in the post.
Darcy Harding was able to settle the Aussies down from the free-throw line and that was followed by Odigie who finally penetrated New Zealand’s defensive line to hit a lay-up before Harding (off a nice crossover) and Andrew Steel connected from distance.
That made it a 10-13 game but New Zealand continued to work in the pick and roll and the deficit proved too much to overcome as they notched a 21-12 victory.
Two hours later, Australia returned to the floor in a must-win game against Qatar and they set the pace this time behind a Steel two-pointer and an Odigie lay-up which followed a nifty behind the back move to put the Aussies in front 6-1.
Harding then came off the bench and his activity under the rim kept the pressure on Qatar before Odigie rained down another two to make it a 10-4 game at the halfway mark.
Lucas Baker and Steel teamed up on a perfect pick and roll before Qatar’s defence finally kicked in, swatting away a potential alley-oop and then scoring an and-one play themselves.
Suddenly, that trimmed the deficit to two inside the last two minutes but Harding responded with a put-back off his own miss and then a long-range bomb from the corner to push Australia’s lead back to a comfortable margin before they ran out 18-15 winners.
Watch the replay of Day 2 below.
The men have now joined the Australian women in the finals which begin at 3pm AEDT on Sunday. Find the full schedule below.
Sunday, October 29 (all times AEDT)
3.00pm- Australian women vs. Turkmenistan
4.00pm- Australian men vs. China
6.20pm- Women’s Semi-Finals
7.10pm- Men’s Semi-Finals
9.25pm- Women’s Gold Medal
9.50- Men’s Gold Medal
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