The New Zealand U16 Men’s team have settled for silver at the FIBA U16 Asian Champs in Doha this morning, after falling 76-79 to Australia in a closely contested Grand Final.
In a game that saw 17 lead changes, the Kiwis took a three point lead into halftime but couldn’t hold off the Aussies in the final minutes of the fourth – despite an incredible effort from Nelson’s Hayden Jones, who racked up 31 points & 12 rebounds while playing almost the entire game.
Oscar Goodman scored 12 points & 13 rebounds, Jameer Reed chipped in 12 off the bench, and Merrick Rillstone and James Matthews scored 6 apiece.
Goodman was named MVP of the FIBA U16 Asian Champs after a standout tournament with New Zealand; the 6’6″ power forward averaging 14ppg on 52.3 percent field-goal shooting while also adding 8.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.2 blocks per game. Goodman currently attends the NBA Academy in Canberra, and is tipped as a future Tall Black following his impressive campaign in Doha.
Goodman was joined by teammate Lachlan Crate – who led New Zealand in scoring with 15.2ppg per game along with 4.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists – on the All-Star Five team, which included Australia’s Henry Sewell from, Boyuan Zhang from China and Kiefer Alas from the Philippines.
In a close battle throughout, the Kiwis outshot (47.7% vs 45.5%) and outrebounded (47-40) their Aussie opponents, but were hampered by 16 turnovers on the night vs. Australia’s 8.
With scored locked at 18-all after the first period, Jones took over in the second quarter; scoring 9 points to give the Kiwis a 41-38 lead heading into the half. New Zealand were strong on the boards in the first half (26 vs 17) but had 8 turnovers; the Kiwis also heavily reliant on Jones (16 points) and Reed (9 points).
The Croc’s Daniels came alive in the third, scoring 9 points to help even the score at 62 all heading into the final period. Australia stepped up the defensive pressure a notch in the pivotal fourth quarter, holding New Zealand to just 14 points on 5-14 shooting in this period. With the Crocs ahead by one by 17 seconds remaining, Nash Walker stepped to the line and made one of two free throws to build a two point lead. Crate missed a layup with four seconds remaining, and Harrison Beauchamp’s free throw sealed the win for Australia.
After winning the silver medal, the New Zealand U16 Men’s team now turns their attention to the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup next year in Turkey.
New Zealand 76 – Jones 31 PTS & 12 REB | Goodman 12 PTS & 13 REB | Reed 12 PTS | Rillstone 6 PTS | Matthews 6 PTS | Crate 5 PTS | Te Ratana 4 PTS
Australia 79 – Daniels 17 PTS & 6 REB & 5 AST | Walker 14 PTS | Cheesman 9 PTS & 6 REB | Cotton 9 PTS
Box Score: http://bbnz.link/U16MensNZLvsAUS
Quarter scores: 18-18, 41-38, 62-62, 76-79
FIBA U16 Men’s Asian Championships – NZ Results
17 Sep – NZL vs Korea (WON 83-81)
18 Sep – NZL vs Jordan (WON 119-45)
19 Sep – NZL vs Bahrain (WON 117-43)
22 Sep – NZL vs Qatar, Quarterfinal round (WON 110-33)
23 Sep – NZL vs China, Semifinal round (WON 86-69)
25 Sep – NZL vs Australia, Final (LOST 76-79)
U16 Men’s Squad, FIBA U16 Asian Championship
Jackson Ball, Basketball Hawkes Bay
Ihaka Cate, Canterbury Basketball
Lachlan Crate, Basketball Manawatu
Gus Dallow, Harbour Basketball Association
Oscar Goodman, Basketball Taranaki
Hayden Jones, Nelson Basketball Association
Mana Martin, Canterbury Basketball
James Matthews, Nelson Basketball Association
Troy Plumtree, Wellington Basketball Association
Jameer Reed, Harbour Basketball Association
Merrick Rillstone, Waikato Basketball
Hunter Te Ratana, Counties Manukau