The Australian Emus have defeated New Zealand 111-62 to advance to the Under-18 Asia Championships Quarter Finals.
Written by Liam Ellison.
Samson Froling and Kyle Bowen led the way with 19 points each for Australia as Darren Perry’s team dismantled New Zealand with a 44 point third quarter.
The Emus faced their toughest test yet in Group C and the Kiwis came out hard in the first period. The Australians once again found an advantage on the glass, as they had doubled the New Zealanders rebound total through the first period with 20-10, including 8 offensive boards.
The Kiwi’s kept pace with the Australians for the majority of the quarter before a perfectly timed cut from Tamuri Wigness which resulted in a lay-up was followed by a fast break dunk from Samson Froling, which swung the lead out to 20-14 at the end of the first period.
The second period began with the Aussies going on a quick 7-2 run to take the lead out to double digits. Samson Froling was beginning to cause the Kiwi defenders trouble and was once again proving to be one of the Emus key players.
Isaiah Lee soon made another trademark drive to the bucket for a quick two to put the Emus up 29-18. Aiden Krause pierced the New Zealand defence on two occasions for a couple of tough and-one layups bringing the Emu’s lead out to 15.
The Australian’s advantage on the interior continued with Keli Leaupepe pleasing Darren Perry with his tenacious rebounding and great inside defence. After the Emus caught the New Zealanders off guard with a fast break lay-in to beat the half-time buzzer, Darren Perry and his team went into the main break with an assertive 49-27 lead.
At the half Kyle Bowen had 10 points and 7 rebounds while Samson Froling had 9 points and 7 boards.
Samson Froling began the third period by drawing free-throws on back-to-back possessions, going 4-4 from the line in the process. The big man continued his hot start with an offensive rebound and lay-in to bring his total to 15. When Tamuri Wigness set Kody Stattmann up for his second three of the contest, the Emus were closing in on a 30 point margin fast with plenty of time remaining in the quarter.
Minutes later the lead became 30 for the first time as Keli Leaupepe drew a couple of defenders before dishing the ball off to Kody Stattman for the and-one lay-in. The Emus offence then began to explode as Tre Armstrong and Callum Dalton both converted on triples before an Armstrong steal and fast break lay-up forced the New Zealanders to call a time-out as the margin had ballooned out to 38.
Tamuri Wigness set up Callum Dalton for two triples in a row as the Emus began to dominate the game, seeing the margin grow to over 40. Wigness had 5 assists through three quarters as his precise passing was on full display.
The Emus ended the third quarter with a 93-44 lead thanks to a whopping 44 points for the period. Darren Perry’s team had seen their offense explode on the back of a fast-paced and intense game-style.
The Emus continued their fast-paced offence in the last period as the quarter began with a bang thanks to Aiden Krause and Samson Froling connecting on an alley-oop. Moments later Tamuri Wigness converted on a lightning quick fast break lay-in to see the Emus tick their score over 100. The Kiwi’s managed to regain control in the last period as they kept pace with the Australians. Wigness was impressive for the Emus as New Zealand struggled to cope with his quickness and ability to get to the basket in transition. However, the fourth period ended with both teams tied on 18 as the Emus ran out 49 point winners. The final score reading 111-62.
Samson Froling led the way for the Emus with 19 points and 11 rebounds while Kyle Bowen also had 19. Strong outside shooting helped Kody Stattman and Callum Dalton to 14 points apiece, with the latter going 4-5 from beyond the arc. Tamuri Wigness rounded out the double digit scorers for Australia, with 11 points and 5 assists.
The Emus had another hot shooting game as they shot over 51% from the field. Once again the Australian’s won the rebounding battle, this time outrebounding the New Zealander’s 64-39.
The victory means the Emus will top Group C and move straight into the Quarter Finals, which will be played on August 9. The top team from each group will move straight into the quarter finals while the 2nd and 3rd ranked teams from each group will playoff tomorrow for their place in the quarters.
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 W 111-62
August 9: Quarter-Finals
August 10: Semi-Finals
August 11: Bronze and Gold medal games