The Junior Tall Blacks have defeated India at the FIBA Under 18 Asian Championship on Wednesday, winning 109-76 to advance to the quarterfinals.
Oscar Oswald got off to a hot start for New Zealand, scoring 10 of the team’s first 13 points. India’s aggressive approach on defence opened up numerous outside looks, allowing Oswald to hit two 3-pointers within the first few minutes of the game. Oswald would hit another three before the quarter concluded, helping tie the game at 21 after 10 minutes of action.
The game opened up for New Zealand in the second quarter, outscoring India 31-21 to take a 52-42 lead into halftime. India continued to present NZ with open looks on the perimeter and they paid a price as a result.
New Zealand carried the momentum into the third quarter, too, despite losing Maxwell Darling to a knee injury early on. They managed another 30-point quarter and owned an 84-57 lead over India heading into the fourth. NZ looked crisp offensively and were dominating the boards, a great recipe for success. Over the final three quarters of the game they outscored India 88-55.
James Moors had a productive outing with 20 points and 10 rebounds on 8-of-15 shooting from the field. Oscar Oswald finished with 17 points and eight rebounds on 4-of-7 shooting from three, while Kruz Perrott-Hunt posted a 14-8-6-2 line in a team-high 31 minutes.
Maxwell Darling looked good before he exited the game in the third, recording 12 points, nine rebounds, two steals and one block on 5-of-7 shooting. Matt O’Connell (15 points) and Tom Higgins (11 points) each scored in double figures to round out a solid offensive effort for the Junior Tall Blacks.
New Zealand bounced back from a rough game against Australia yesterday to shoot the lights out today. They shot 45 per cent from the field and were 11-of-32 on their 3-point attempts. NZ also outrebounded India 80-46, including a whopping 28 offensive rebounds.
New Zealand will now play Iran in the quarterfinals on Thursday. Iran went undefeated during the group phase, winning all three games and placing first in Group A. They came into the FIBA Asian Championship as the 26th ranked team in the world.
Assistant Coach Leyton Haddleton said the team’s execution was a big reason why they got the win today.
“The boys really bought into the scouting report today and that showed when they held the tournament’s leading points scorer to just four points. We did a great job on India’s two key guys, making others beat us which really helped our cause.”
Haddleton said Darling should be fine after the injury scare, but there’s not much time to rest with an early start tomorrow.
“Maxwell had a knee-to-knee collision but there’s no tear or anything like that, so hopefully he’ll be alright to play tomorrow.
“We’ve got a quick turnaround, so the coaching staff will jump straight into scouting mode and come up with a plan to get the win.”
All of the games will be livestreamed on FIBA’s Youtube channel, and you can also watch New Zealand’s games on the Basketball New Zealand Facebook page.
Team schedule (all times NZT):
August 5 vs. Bahrain – 94-62 (W)
August 6 vs. Thailand – 89-47 (W)
August 7 vs. Australia – 111-62 (L)
August 8-11: Classification and Finals
2018 Junior Tall Blacks (New Zealand Under 19)
Flynn Cameron, New Zealand
Matthew O’Connell, Taranaki
Tama Faamausili, Palmerston North
Max DeGeest, Canterbury
Kruz Perrott-Hunt, Harbour
Oscar Oswald, Palmerston North
Maxim Stephens, Waikato
Max Darling, Canterbury
Tomas Higgins, Canterbury
James Moors, Harbour
Sam Mennenga, Harbour
Nathan Hanna, Otago
Gavin Briggs - Head Coach
Miles Pearce - Assistant Coach
Leyton Haddleton - Assistant Coach
Charles Maaka - Team Manager
Dawn Chalmers - Team Physio
· See FIBA’s tournament website here: https://www.fiba.basketball/asia/u18/2018
· More basketball news at www.nz.basketball and Basketball New Zealand’s social media channels: @BasketballNZ Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.