The Airbnb Australian Under 17 Men’s Team have begun their preparations for the 2014 FIBA Under 17 World Championship in Europe, opening the tour against Puerto Rico in France overnight.
It was a hard-fought 69-66 loss for the Australians to open the tour, with three games to come before they set off to Dubai to take on the world’s best.
After jumping out to a 22-16 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Australians found themselves down six points at the half time, as the Puerto Ricans found their offensive rhythm.
In a rollercoaster game of frequent lead changes, Australia was back in front heading into the final quarter, leading 48-43 after holding their opponents to just 7 third-quarter points.
As they did in the second quarter, Puerto Rico found their groove in the final quarter, dropping 26 points to outgun the Australians and take the opening win of the tournament.
Thomas Wilson was a stand out for the Australians, posting a team-high 14 points to go with 7 rebounds and 3 assists, while Dejan Vasiljevic, Kouat Noi (both 12 points) and Isaac Humphries (11 points) were among four players in double figures.
Next up is host nation France before clashes with South American powerhouse Argentina and Canada in the coming three days.
The Australians will open their 2014 FIBA Under 17 World Championship campaign against Japan on Friday 8 August before games against France (Saturday 9 August) and Canada (Monday 11 August) leading into the knockout phase and the Final on Saturday 16 August.
CLICK HERE for the full schedule for the 2014 FIBA Under 17 World Championships.
For the latest news, results and info from the 2014 FIBA Under 17 World Championships in Dubai, UAE be sure to visit the Basketball Australia website at www.basketball.net.au.
Airbnb Australian Under 17 Men’s Team – 2014 FIBA Under 17 World Championships
Abiola Akintola VICM/CoE
Kyle Clark TAS
Harrison Froling QLDN/CoE
Deng Gak NSWM/CoE
Jayden Hodgson NSWC
Isaac Humphries NSWM/CoE
Trent McMullan VICC
Kouat Noi NSWC
Matthew Owies VICM
Dejan Vasiljevic VICM/CoE
Jackson White VICC
Thomas Wilson VICM/CoE
Head Coach – Mark Watkins
Assistant Coaches – Jamie O’Loughlin, Justin Schueller
Manager – Jason Membrey
Doctor – Brendon Aubrey
Physiotherapist – Bruce Anderson