The second day of the pool stage at the Jr. NBA Global Championships has wrapped up. The Asia Pacific Boys, featuring Australian Joshua Dent, had a great opening two days, while Australian Summah Hanson and the Asia Pacific Girls fought hard through their first few days in Orlando.
Written by Oliver Kay.
Asia Pacific Boys
The Asia Pacific teams began their campaign yesterday against Canada. The boys came out strong in their game. The contest was as tug-of-war battle from the beginning, with three closely contested quarters. Asia Pacific appeared to have the ascendancy heading into the final period of play, leading 50-47. Yet Canada was able to rally, winning 61-64.
Despite the loss, Dent showed off his versatility as a player, finishing with 12 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
Asia Pacific began their second day against China. Joshua Dent got the first points on the scoreboard for his team, sinking an early free-throw. From there, Asia Pacific remained in control of the quarter.
The second quarter was all Asia Pacific. Dent showed off his shooting ability, nailing a three to give his team a nine point lead with 3:50 left in the half. However, foul trouble would limit his impact on the game going forward, with Dent getting four personals.
It was a quiet second half for Dent, after getting in foul trouble earlier. However, he made an appearance in the fourth quarter with a nice driving layup. In the end, Asia Pacific won convincingly, with a final score of 50-42. Dent made the most of his hampered minutes, finishing with ten points, two rebounds and three assists.
Next up for Asia Pacific was Mexico. Dent had a terrific game, his best of the tournament so far. He started the game aggressively, scoring five points in the first quarter coming off a three-pointer and a driving layup. He was instrumental in helping Asia Pacific surge to a 20-7 lead at the first break.
After a quiet second quarter, Dent picked up where he left off in the third. He scored four points and dished out three assists.
Mexico’s offence was firing on all cylinders, outscoring Asia Pacific 18-27. Yet despite finding their groove, it wasn’t enough to overcome the lead Asia Pacific established in the first half. In the end, Asia Pacific won 74-61, getting a clean sweep on day two.
Dent’s stellar play nearly netted him a triple-double, with 14 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists.
Asia Pacific Girls
In their day one match against Canada the Asia Pacific Girls struggled to find points. They were unable to score in double-digits in any of the four quarters, and Canada was able to cruise to a 31-60 win.
Hanson, fought hard to keep her team in the game despite the adversity. She finished with a team-high ten points and a game-high nine rebounds.
In their opening game of day two against China the Asia Pacific girls came out refocused and determined. China got out to an early lead, but Asia Pacific mounted a quick comeback, helped enormously by Hanson’s rebounding. Her efforts were rewarded with a put-back layup under the basket, giving her team a 12-11 lead at the first buzzer.
Things remained close in the second and third quarters. Hanson’s rebounding remained a factor, helping to limit China’s second chance attempts. Hanson began to find her shooting touch in the third, making a floater and a layup in the space of thirty seconds near the midway point of the period.
The fourth quarter belonged to China, with Asia Pacific only managing to score three points. After a back and forth game, in the end, China was able to secure a comfortable victory, 44-53. Hanson finished with a game-high seven rebounds to go along with six points.
The girls closed out day two against Mexico. Once again, finding points was an uphill struggle for Asia Pacific, with Mexico proving to be too strong.
Like in their game against China, they were unable to score in double-digits in any of the quarters. As a team they shot 20.3 percent, and in were soundly beaten 26-53.
Hanson was a shining light for the girls. She dominated the boards, as she had done in the past two games, ending the contest with a game-high ten rebounds and three blocks.