QUARTER-FINALS AWAIT CROCS AT FIBA U16 ASIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
The top four teams from this tournament will earn a spot at the World Cup which means reaching the Semi-Finals will be enough for the Crocs.
They now sit just a win away from that goal after defeating the Philippines in the second game of the group stage, 82-52.
It was a defensive struggle through the opening term with neither team able to hit a field goal for almost the first three minutes.
Once Australia broke the drought, they still struggled to connect on multiple possessions and they soon found themselves trailing by three points and shooting just 2-12 from the field.
However, Wani Swaka Lo Buluk (seven points) sparked them with a couple of quick buckets and the Crocs knocked down four of their next five shots to finish the term on a 10-2 run and move in front by five at quarter-time.
Australia’s full court pressure then began to really take it’s toll in the second period with Luke Jackson (six points, ten rebounds, three steals) and Tamuri Wigness (eight points, seven boards, four assists, six steals) utilising their length to cut off the passing lanes.
Jay Rantall (15 points on 5-8 shooting overall) and Liam Herbert (eight points, four rebounds) caught fire from deep to open up a double-digit lead at half-time and the Crocs were not trouble beyond that.
In addition to their full-court pressure, Australia’s size enabled them to own the glass as well with a total of 20 offensive rebounds and a +18 edge in boards overall with Joel Capetola (nine points, eight boards, four assists) and Luke Travers (11 points, seven rebounds, three steals) leading the way.
Philippines were not going to go down without a fight, cutting the deficit back to 19 with just over five minutes remaining but the Crocs had another gear to go to and finished with a 14-3 run as Kobe Williamson tallied 14 points, two steals and two blocks.
Find the box score here and watch the replay below.
Australia now await the final results in the group stage tonight which will determine which teams face off in the playoff round tomorrow.
The winner of one of those playoffs will then take on the Crocs in the Quarter-Final on Friday at 3pm AEST for a spot in the Under-17 World Cup.
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 6 Quarter-Final: Crocs vs. ??? at 3.00pm
April 7: Semi-Finals
April 8: Medal Games
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