New Zealand has finished its involvement at the 2022 FIBA U18 Asian Championship in Bengaluru, India on Friday on a losing note.
In the 5th/6th play-off game, the Kiwis put together a strong showing for three-quarters of the contest – but ran out of legs in the fourth, before eventually losing 73-56.
New Zealand made a terrific start jumping out to an 8-0 lead on the back of a trey from Aria Cowley plus an and-1 play from Allyah Leusogi-Ape. That advantage was erased by Korea before Maddie Morrow converted from beyond the arc.
Leusogi-Ape repeated the and-1 dosage and Tokomanawa Queens forward Lauren Tewhata converted from close range – New Zealand just 20-16 behind at quarter-time.
New Zealand fell 9 points behind in the second but finished the quarter strongly, as Morrow nailed another triple and Auburn University at Montgomery freshman Lilly Parke made a timely jump shot to close out the scoring for the period – the Kiwis within 2 points (33-31) at half-time.
The third quarter followed a similar pattern to the second with Korea establishing a decent advantage (7 points) before New Zealand reeled them in. Morrow – enjoying her most productive scoring game of the tournament – tied proceedings late in the third and although Korea scored the next four points, the North Harbour duo of Mackenzie Chatfield and Flo Dallow came up with plays to tie proceedings once again.
47 points apiece at three-quarter time meant the prospect of a grandstand finish, and a reversal of the defeat New Zealand had suffered against Korea in the opening game of the tournament.
Unfortunately that optimism evaporated as Korea dominated the early stages of the fourth spell, rattling off 20 unanswered points. Chatfield eventually got the scoreboard moving for the Kiwis, and Morrow followed with her third triple of the contest, but it was a quarter that belonged almost entirely to Korea – one they won 26-9 to confirm a fifth place Asian Championship finish.
The bulk of the Junior Tall Ferns squad will return to New Zealand to resume club and school commitments, while the four members embarking on their American collegiate careers will head back to the States.
Kiwi hoopers will be watching with interest how the freshman years of Florence Dallow (University of Portland), Sydney Neale (Dyersberg State College), Lilly Parke and Jyordanna Davey (both at Auburn University at Montgomery) unfold.
With New Zealand out of the picture, the Asian Championship Grand Final will feature Australia and defending champions China; this after China defeated Japan 54-51 and Australia beat Chinese Taipei 70-61 in their respective semi-finals.
Meanwhile in the B Tournament, our Oceania neighbours Samoa will play the Philippines in the bronze medal game after being pipped 65-64 by Mongolia in the semi-final.
New Zealand 56 Korea 73
New Zealand: Morrow 11 PTS | Chatfield 8 PTS | Leusogi-Ape 8 PTS | Parke 7 PTS
Korea: M Kim 15, S Ko 14, D Lee 14
New Zealand Results:
Tuesday 6 September LOST 81-64 v Korea
Wednesday 7 September LOST 111-44 v Australia
Thursday 8 September WON 66-63 v India
Friday 9 September Semi-Final Play-in, LOST 77-67 v Chinese Taipei
Saturday 10 September 5th/6th play-off LOST 73-56 v Korea
The Asian Championship doubles as a qualifying tournament for the 2023 FIBA U19 World Championship. The top four teams in India qualify for the World Championship in Madrid, Spain in July 2023.
Links to the streaming, rosters, statistics and live stats can be found here: https://www.fiba.basketball/asia/u18awomen/2022
NZ U18 Women’s National Team
Maia Chandler – Waikato Basketball
Mackenzie Chatfield – Harbour Basketball
Aria Cowley – Waikato Basketball
Florence Dallow – Harbour Basketball
Jyordanna Davey – Hutt Valley Basketball
Kate Herman – Canterbury Basketball
Allyah Leusogi-Ape – Basketball Auckland
Maddie Morrow – Canterbury Basketball
Sydney Neale – Waikato Basketball
Lilly Parke – Basketball Auckland
Lauren Tewhata – Wellington Basketball Association
Vitolia Tuilave – Waitakere West Auckland Basketball
Selected but unavailable due to injury: Alana Paewai – Waikato Basketball
Head Coach – Natalie Visger
Assistant Coach – Shay Haira
Assistant Coach – Liam Connelly
Team Manager – Katherine Wills
Physio – Shannon Spicer
Team Doctor – Jamie Lockyer