MEN MARCH ON AT FIBA U18 3X3 WORLD CHAMPS
The New Zealand women’s U18 team bowed out at the FIBA U18 World 3x3 Championships in Hungary but the men’s team powered on into the quarter finals, with a match against unbeaten Russia looming tonight NZT.
Head Coach Anthony Corban reflected on the efforts of his young women’s team.
“We struggled in first game (final pool game) against Guam-which we won but there was a lack of energy, urgency and communication. In a way the group knew we were going to finish third regardless of the margin of victory, but the performance overall was not of a high standard.
“Then in the round of 16 against Italy, we had control of the game until the last 90 seconds when we had Italy in the seven team foul, a two free-throw situation. Yet we persisted with trying to take two point shots and ended up losing by two points in what was a disappointing finish to the tournament. This was a game we should have closed out. However this was a great learning experience for the group. Two players, Kendell and Tee, have another two years of 3x3 playing experience ahead of them.”
The men won two thrillers and now contemplate a place in the quarter finals against heavyweight opponent Russia.
“Against Brazil we jumped on them early (up 6-0) before the heat and humidity got to us but we were in front throughout and ending up winning 18-16 with our ‘bigs’ imposing our post superiority.
“Against Germany in the round of 16 again, we were in front throughout. Germany shot the ball well from the two point line throughout and again our post game was tough to defend and Matt Freeman hit a couple of clutch two pointers near the end of the game.
“Tomorrow (tonight NZT) will be tough though, against an unbeaten Russian team, but we will recover and prepare and the boys will give it their all.”
FIBA U18 3x3 World Champs
Pool Play: NZ 15 def Guam 12
Round of 16: Italy 11 def NZ 9
Pool Play: NZ 18 def Brazil 16
Round of 16: NZ 18 def Germany 17
CLICK HERE for more