Sapphires advance to Quarter Finals of FIBA U-16 Asia Champs undefeated

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On the back of a third consecutive win, the Australian Sapphires have advanced to the Quarter-Finals of the FIBA Under-16 Asia Championships and are now one win away from securing a spot at the 2018 World Cup.

The Sapphires began the clash with Korea well as their starting five controlled the tempo thanks to an early three-pointer from Isabel Palmer (13 points, seven rebounds, four assists) and five offensive boards from Agnes Emma-Nnopu.

Gemma Potter (seven points, six rebounds) then connected from distance as well to give the Sapphires a double-digit lead heading into the first break but Korea locked down defensively in the second term as Australia only extended the margin by a point to half-time.

The Aussies struggled to penetrate through Korea’s defences although Palmer notched double-figures herself while Alex Fowler (four points, four boards) matched their opponents intensity with some important minutes off the bench.

Out of the main break, the Sapphires’ re-found their touch at the offensive end and a barrage on the scoreboard from the likes of Shyla Heal (12 points, four assists), Potter and Georgia Amoore (12 points, two steals) gave Australia full control.

They doubled Korea’s total in the third term and then consolidated that effort with a 25-15 final quarter as every player that hit the court scored once again.

Last-Tear Poa (12 points, eight rebounds, four assists) became the fourth Sapphire in double-figures while Emma-Nnopu finished with eight points and 12 rebounds with her nine offensive boards almost matching Korea’s total as a team.

Watch the replay below and find the box score here.

The Sapphires will now await the result of tonight’s clash between Thailand and Hong Kong with the loser set to face Australia in the Quarter-Final.

A win in that game will see the Sapphires secure a spot in next year’s World Cup as well as advancing to the Semi-Finals.

The Australian Sapphires Schedule for the 2017 FIBA Under-16 Women’s Asia Championships (all times AEDT):

October 26: Quarter-Finals
October 27: Semi-Finals
October 28: Bronze and Gold Medals