For Joshua Dent and coach Craig Stratford the Jr NBA Global Championships are over. After going on a three game winning streak, the Asia Pacific Boys lost their international bracket semi-final against Africa 55-66.
Written by Oliver Kay
The first quarter went back and forth. Both teams traded punches and didn’t allow the other to get ahead by more than two points for the first five minutes of play. Dent was in amongst the action, scoring off a nice driving layup and going to the free-throw line to sink another two points.
However, with three minutes remaining Africa put their foot on the gas, going on a 11-2 run to close out the quarter leading 12-19.
The second period played out very similarly to the first. There were patches of play where Asia Pacific was able to match Africa offensively, but Africa’s rebounding emerged as a huge hurdle that Asia Pacific struggled to overcome. During a passage of play in the last two minutes Africa was able to put six shots in a row off the back of their work on the offensive boards.
Dent was able to keep his scoring numbers ticking over in the second, putting up another four points. The first half ended with Africa well in control, 24-36.
Asia Pacific put their best foot forward in the third period, outscoring Africa 19-14. Dent again contributed another four points to his side’s tally, including a nice floater in the early stages.
Asia Pacific also did a much better job of limiting Africa’s second chance point attempts, which drastically helped them bring them within seven points going into the final quarter, 43-50.
Dent’s offence dried up in fourth but he made up for it with his playmaking, dishing out three assists. In the end Africa was able to reassert their control on the game, winning 55-66.
Dent finished the game with 12 points, two rebounds and five assists.