NZ U17 Women were defeated 87-58 by Japan in the semi-final of the FIBA Asian Championship, in Amman, Jordan on Wednesday.
Ivy Brown top scored for the Kiwis with 11 points (3/4FG, 5/5FT), Lilly Taulelei scored 8 while Cassidy Lacey-Rameka added 5 rebounds, an assist and 2 blocks to 9 points.
New Zealand entered the game secure in the knowledge that their top 4 finish had earned then a berth at the FIBA U17 Women’s World Cup to be played in Hungary next month. However, they would have hoped to make a better start to the contest than giving up 24 first quarter points to trail by nine.
Brown’s strong drive and score plus 4 points from Taulelei were the scoring highlights for the Kiwis in the opening period.
Brown – 9 first half points for the Cantabrian – converted an And-1 play to trim the deficit to 9 points (35-26) well into the second quarter.
Layla Cameron repeated that offensive dosage – Japan ahead 46-33 at the interval.
Rotorua’s Lacey-Rameka scored with a neat inside move before Japan stretched their advantage beyond twenty.
Maia Jones and Karereatua Williams made much needed scores but Japan were well in the ascendancy at the three-quarter mark – ahead 70-43.
Perhaps buoyed by news that her Mainland Pouākai teammates had registered a win in the opening game of the Tauihi Basketball Aotearoa season Jones made her 15th three of the tournament at the outset of the fourth.
Ashlyn Rean scored off a deft touch pass from Tannika Leger-Walker and Lacey-Rameka dropped a triple as the Kiwis kept pace with the Japanese through the closing stages.
New Zealand will now play Korea, beaten 98-91 by Australia in the other semi-final, in the Asian Championship 3rd/4th play-off game on Thursday. A victory would see the Kiwis medal at the U17 Asia champs for the first time.
New Zealand 58 – Brown 11pts, Lacey-Rameka 9pts & 5rebs, Taulelei 8pts, Jones 7pts, Cameron 6pts, Rean 6pts, Tamilo 3pts & 5rebs, Clarken 2pts
Japan 87 – K Ueno 14
New Zealand Schedule: (times given are local in New Zealand)
Friday June 24 v Korea W 80-63
Saturday June 25 v Australia L 77-57
Monday June 27 v Japan L 87-49
Tuesday June 28 v India W 94-45
Wednesday June 29 – Semi-Final v Japan L 87-58
Thursday June 30 – Final & 3rd/4th play-off games (6.00pm)
The Asian Championship, postponed from 2021 due to Covid, doubled as a Qualifying Tournament for the 2022 U17 Women’s FIBA World Cup to be played in Hungary, July 9-17. Having finished in the top four teams in Jordan New Zealand will make their second appearance at the U 17 World Cup having finished 12th at the 2018 event.
All games are shown live via https://nz.basketball/tv/
Links to the streaming, rosters, statistics and live stats can be found here: https://www.fiba.basketball/asia/u16women/2022
U17 Women’s National Team
Ivy Brown – North Canterbury
Layla J Cameron – New Zealand
Waimanu Clarken – Basketball Auckland
Maia Jones – Nelson Basketball
Cassidy Lacey-Rameka – Rotorua Basketball Association
Tannika Leger-Walker – Waikato Basketball
Carly Ohia – Rotorua Basketball Association
Amy-Lee Pateman – Harbour Basketball
Ashlyn Rean – North Canterbury
Ritorya Tamilo – Basketball Auckland
Lily Taulelei – Wellington Basketball Association
Karereatua Williams – Canterbury
Unable to travel due to injury
Elise Gilbert – Waikato Basketball
Lauren Whittaker – Canterbury
Head Coach – Lori McDaniel
Assistant Coach – Pina Lissaman
Assistant Coach – Ryan Dubbledam
Team Manager – Jemma Lawton
Physio – Kylie Cox
Team Doctor – Dr Kaylie Baker