The Airbnb Australian Emus snagged their first win of the FIBA U19 World Championship in the early hours of Wednesday morning, defeating Tunisia 93-64 to secure third place in Group C.
Four Emus scored in double figures, Jack White with a game-high 18 points and 6 rebounds, followed by Dejan Vasiljevic (14), Tom Wilson (13 pts, 6 rebounds) and Angus Glover (10). Impressively, Tunisia only trailed 26-23 when Australia went on a 20-7 run for a 46-30 lead and were never threatened again.
“I thought our application to improve specific areas of our defence in this game was very really pleasing and should put us in good stead moving forward,” said Emus coach Adam Caporn. “I certainly would have liked us to take better care of the ball but, at the same time we did a good job finding pace offensively and making the extra pass.
“It was great to see the tenacity that Angus Glover played with tonight, he never takes a backward step and is terrific competitor.”
Glover scored his 10 points from the bench and chimed in with two assists.
Australia won the battle of the board with 51 rebounds to Tunisia’s 25, and they had 17 second chance points compared to zero for Tunisia.
While the win over Tunisia was not unexpected, it was still sweet with given the Emus had only lost their opening two group matches, against Canada and Italy respectively, by a combined five points.
“The steady commitment of the group over the last two days to get better and remain focused on the task at hand has demonstrated a high level of professionalism and I’m very proud of the group for that,” said Caporn.
Box scores from the game can be found here.
The Emus will now face Serbia (who finished second in Group D behind Greece) in a must-win clash at 0300 Thursday AEST. Victory will secure a place in the quarter-finals against the winner of the Iran v Turkey match.
“Like every team in the tournament, tomorrow we will play in a sudden death game and we will have to be at our best – an exciting challenge that our group will embrace,” concluded Caporn.
Catch up with the full match, courtesy of FIBA: