The convincing 24-point victory sets up a mouth-watering Semi Final match up with European powerhouse Spain.
Coming off a hard-fought win over Greece to secure passage to the quarter final round, the Airbnb Australians were dominant from the outset, racing to a 23-12 lead at quarter time.
This lead increased to 16 points by half time, with Dejan Vasiljevic the chief destroyer in the green and gold, posting 19 first-half points on 5-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc to go with eight rebounds.
Vasiljevic would finish the game with 21 points and 13 rebounds to record his second double-double of the tournament.
After the main break it was tournament breakout star Isaac Humphries who would take over the scoring duties from Vasiljevic, posting 14 points to finish with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Humphries has enjoyed a standout tournament to date, averaging more than 20 points and 13 rebounds per game – including setting a new FIBA U17 World Championship record, posting 41 points (19 rebounds and five blocks) in the loss to Canada.
After struggling to find his shooting touch from three-point territory, Australian Captain Thomas Wilson ensured he would go into the Semi Final full of confidence, finishing the game with three consecutive long-bombs to post 11 points and five rebounds.
Puerto Rico threw all they had at the Australians, cutting the lead to eight points in the shadows of three-quarter time, only to watch the margin return to double digits in a matter of seconds.
Absorbing one final charge from their opponents in the final four minutes, the Australians would hold on, capping off the win with a three-pointer from Deng Gak in his first minutes of the tournament – sending the Australian bench wild.
Fans can watch the Airbnb Australian Under 17 Men’s Team in Semi Final action at the 2014 FIBA Under 17 World Championships in Dubai streaming LIVE on LiveBasketball.TV – register to watch all the action.
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Airbnb Australian Under 17 Men’s Team 2014 FIBA U17 World Championships Semi Final
Airbnb Australian U17 Men v Spain/France
Saturday 16 August @ Hamdan Sports Complex 3:00am AEST
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/ CoE
Thomas Wilson VICM/CoE
Head Coach – Mark Watkins
Assistant Coaches – Jamie O’Loughlin, Justin Schueller
Manager – Jason Membrey
Doctor – Brendon Aubrey
Physiotherapist – Bruce Anderson