Written by Liam Ellison.
Bahrain opened the game with a three, suggesting that the Emus may have a tougher match-up than their 75-point win over Thailand. However, the Emus began to showcase their length and lock down defence when Samson Froling swatted away Bager Ali’s shot.
A couple of threes from Isaiah Lee and Samson Froling were followed by an and-one lay-up from Froling to cushion the Emus lead out to 9. Samson Froling finished the first period with 12 points while the Emus opened up a 25-11 quarter time lead.
Forcing Bahrain into turnovers had been the Emus’ strength in the first period but Bahrain managed to keep pace with the Australian’s five minutes into the second period, as the Emus had only extended the lead by three.
While Bahrain began to cut out the costly turnovers, the Emus found an advantage on the glass as Josh Gatbel began to dominate in the paint by creating second chance opportunities. Isaiah Lee provided the highlight of the period when he drove to the basket, dishing off a beautiful bounce pass to Gatbel for the easy lay-in. At the half-time break the Emus led 50-26.
At the main break Samson Froling had 14 points and 6 rebounds, while Josh Gatbel had 9 points and 5 boards. The Emus had 12 offensive rebounds compared to Bahrain’s two with the Australian’s converting for 14 second chance points to Bahrain’s nil.
Kody Stattmann opened the second half with a bang, hitting a triple on the first possession.
The Emus opened the half with an 8-0 run before Bahrain finally got their first bucket 4 minutes into the half with a fast break lay-up. In the last four minutes of the third period the Emus exploded for 17 points to bring them out to a 79-33 lead at the end of the third. The Australian’s began to press up and force turnovers as Bahrain started to struggle with the Emus defence, managing only seven points for the quarter.
The last period saw the Emus continue to dominate on the glass and on defence, as Darren Perry’s team kept feasting on fast break opportunities.
Callum Dalton provided the highlight play of the period when Dalton capitalised on a fast break opportunity with a powerful two-handed dunk.
The Emus eventually ran out 107-42 winners to continue their perfect start to the tournament.
— FIBA (@FIBA) August 6, 2018
The Australians won every major statistical category with the Emus scoring 43 points off turnover and managing 37 second chance points. The Australian’s also won the points in the paint battle 64-20 in what was a dominant inside display.
For the Emus, every active player hit the scoreboard with six players hitting double digits. After his hot start, Samson Froling led the way with 21 points and 8 boards while Keli Leaupepe continued his strong rebounding with 12 points and 12 rebounds of which 7 were offensive. Kyle Bowen completed a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards while Kody Stattman (12 points), Isaiah Lee (9 points, 5 assists), Josh Gatbel (11 points) and Callum Dalton (11 points) rounded out the notable contributors.
The Emus will next face traditional rivals New Zealand for the right to finish atop of Group C and move straight into the Quarter Finals. Catch the livestream on YouTube tomorrow at 1:30pm.
The Australian Emus Schedule for the 2018 FIBA Under-18 Asian Championship (all times AEST):
August 5: Emus vs Thailand W 119-44
August 6: Emus vs Bahrain W 107-42
August 7: Emus vs New Zealand 1:30pm
August 8: Qualification to Quarter Finals
August 9: Quarter-Finals
August 10: Semi-Finals
August 11: Bronze and Gold medal games