The Junior Tall Blacks have fallen to Australia at the FIBA Under 18 Asian Championship, losing 111-62 on Tuesday afternoon in Thailand.
Flynn Cameron posted a productive stat-line despite the loss with nine points, four rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks. James Moors dropped eight points and seven rebounds, while Kruz Perrott-Hunt recorded eight points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals. Sam Mennenga added seven points, six rebounds, two steals and one block for NZ.
New Zealand shot just 32.4 per cent from the field and were 7-of-25 on their 3-point attempts, compared to Australia who shot 51.2 per cent from the floor and were 9-of-19 from distance. Australia also enjoyed a sizeable advantage on the glass, outrebounding New Zealand 64-39.
Both teams played with energy out of the gate in what was a scrappy first quarter. Australia managed to get their noses in front, leading 20-14 after 10 minutes, but New Zealand remained within striking distance early on.
The physicality continued throughout the game, but Australia was able to build their lead in the second quarter. They outscored New Zealand 29-13 to take a 49-27 lead into halftime. NZ was struggling to hit shots with consistency and Australia’s dominant approach on the glass was making life difficult for them.
Australia put together a massive 44-point third quarter to take a commanding 93-44 lead heading into the fourth. Their size and efficiency from the field were just too much for New Zealand to contain. The victory helped Australia secure first place in Group C and a spot in the quarterfinals.
New Zealand will have to play in a knockout game on Wednesday against an opponent TBD. The winner of that contest will move through to the quarterfinals. As a reminder, the top-4 placed teams at the FIBA Asian Championship will qualify for the World Cup next year.
Head Coach Gavin Briggs said it was a tough loss but the boys are remaining focused for tomorrow’s game.
“Obviously a really tough game. We gave up way too many offensive rebounds and turning the ball over 20 times against a quality team like Australia is hard to overcome.
“We’ve got plenty to work on but we’re really looking forward to tomorrow’s game. We’re waiting to see the winner between Syria and India, and that’ll be who we play. If we can get through that one, it’ll be all on for the top-4.”
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.