The Emerging Rollers finish on a high at the Fazaa Dubai Tournament defeating team UAE 54 to 40.
By Leigh Gooding
The young Australian squad set the tone early on defence in this final play-off game, to ensure the squad travelled home with a solid win.
The first quarter defensive intensity was obvious and the starting group of Jake Fulwood, Steven Elliott, Tom O’Neill-Thorne, Josh Allison & Matt McShane got the team off to a good start.
In the second quarter the locals started to make a run and took control of the game through a dominant quarter, taking the lead four minutes before half-time.
Tariq Al Yassi was the best for the UAE contributing 14 points and finishing in the top ten scorers for the tournament.
The Emerging Rollers group were sharing the minutes around and everyone had hit the court early in the second quarter. However, the Aussies needed to revert to their starting group to re-establish some dominance.
This dominance continued in the third term as they took the quarter by 17 points to ensure the team were in a great position to take the win.
O’Neill-Thorne (16 points) continued his solid form and was well supported by the other key forwards in Fulwood and Elliott (10 points each).
In the final quarter, the entire squad again got another good run with all players contributing and making some great effort plays to close out an enjoyable tournament.
This was the first international tour for eight players with many set to wear the green & gold for the Rollers for many years to come.
1Q AUS 18 to 9
2Q AUS 7 to 13
3Q AUS 21 to 4
4Q AUS 8 to 14