New Zealand had a successful round of play at the FIBA 3x3 Under 18 Asia Cup on Friday night, with the men winning both of their games and the women winning one of two.
The men cruised past Sri Lanka 22-3 in their opening contest and defeated Turkmenistan 20-13 in their second game. The women narrowly lost to Chinese Taipei 21-20 first up but bounced back for a solid 21-18 win over Japan later that evening.
As a result of their success, the men and women have both advanced to the quarterfinals on Sunday. The women will play Iran first at 8:50pm NZT, and the men will square off against Japan at 9:30pm NZT. The games are single elimination from the quarterfinals onwards.
Women’s coach Justine Reed was thrilled with her team’s effort during pool play.
“I am very proud of how the girls played, especially how they recovered from a devastating one-point loss to Chinese Taipei to beat a very good Japanese team. The girls showed resilience and confidence.
“Our first game really could have gone either way, as we traded baskets throughout. The turning point was when we were called for a foul with about 20 seconds left. It put Chinese Taipei in the bonus, giving them two free throws to win the game.
“In the second game, Japan’s players were very quick and had good chemistry. Momentum seemed to favour them, but we got some big plays from Briarley Rogers and Arielle Williams-Mackey down the stretch to help us secure the win.
“The girls are still adjusting to the differences of 3x3 basketball compared to 5-on-5, especially defensively. We identified this as an area to improve on moving forward, and it’ll be a focal point against Iran in the quarterfinals.”
All of the games at the U18 Asia Cup will be livestreamed on the FIBA 3x3 Youtube channel, or on the Basketball New Zealand Facebook page.
New Zealand 3x3 Under 18 women’s team
• Arielle Williams-Mackey (Waikato Basketball)
• Briarley Rogers (Tauranga City Basketball)
• Emilee Tahata (based in Australia)
• Kay Phillips (based in Australia)
• Head Coach Justine Reed.
New Zealand 3x3 Under 18 men’s team
• Thomas Whyte (Basketball Auckland)
• James Moors (Harbour Basketball)
• Max de Geest (Canterbury Basketball)
• Matthew O’Connell (Taranaki Country Basketball)
• Head Coach Karl Noyer.
· See FIBA’s tournament website here: http://www.fiba.basketball/asia/3x3U18/2018
· More basketball news at www.nz.basketball and Basketball New Zealand’s social media channels: @BasketballNZ Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.