The Australian Gliders Defeat Japan at the AOZ Championships
GAME 1 – AUS v JAP
The Gliders’ nerves were on show in their first match-up against Japan, with a slow start, Japan taking an early 10-2 lead.
During the second quarter, the Australian’s nerves eased, and they started to show off their skills, with Annabelle Lindsay hitting impressive shots with the support of teammate Amber Merritt.
The Gliders went on to take the quarter 16-4, leading at half time by four points, thanks to a strong defence that allowed for easy transition basketball.
Teisha Shadwell became a part of the game in the second term with some nice finishes and Georgia Inglis began settling into a good tempo.
The third quarter started with a struggle to secure points on the board, but the Australian defence was holding strong.
The Gliders displayed positive teamwork which allowed them to reach a double-digit lead at three-quarter time.
Despite their slow start, the Australians were able to secure a 17-point win over Japan with a strong defensive end.
GAME 2 – AUS v CHI
The Gliders had a hard task ahead of them facing top ranked side China, who have recently finished in the top four of the World Championships.
Opening with a 7-0 start to the game, the Australians looked to be the team to beat with talented plays from both Georgia Inglis and young gun Teisha Shadwell.
However, China fought their way back into the game and had levelled the scores by the end of the first quarter.
Amber Merritt kick started the Australian offence in the second quarter with two quick baskets, pushing the Gliders into the lead.
China started to take control of the game with superior shooting and execution in the offence, with the Gliders struggling to find high percentage options. This control from China put them eight points in front at half time.
The third quarter saw China continue their strong form taking their lead out to 10 points, before the Gliders reeled off the next five scores, slowly closing the deficit.
The Gliders’ started to get some organised game-plan into their defence and with the help of Merritt and Lindsay finding some form alongside Sarah Vinci and Hannah Dodd, the Australians trailed by just three points at third break.
This set up a big final quarter, with the game up for grabs. Australia came out of the blocks and levelled scores with five minutes left in the game.
The Australian defence was holding strong, despite the costly turnovers. When the final siren went, the Gliders came up short and went down to China by just two points.
Amber Merritt lead the Gliders with 19 points and 14 rebounds followed by Georgia Inglis who collected 9 points, 4 rebounds and 7 assists.
The Australian Gliders have secured one win and one loss in the first two days of competition at the 2019 Asia Oceania Championships in Thailand.
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