A gallant effort in the fourth quarter has come too late for the Australian Spinners, falling to Turkey 52-60 in the Under-23 World Championships Semi-Final to set up a bronze medal playoff against Japan.
After a tight start to the contest, Turkey took the momentum with a couple of baskets to end the first quarter and from there, they controlled the tempo for most of the match.
Offensively, their pick and roll’s sliced through the Spinners while at the other end of the floor, Australia missed some looks that had been dropping for them throughout the tournament.
Despite those misses, the margin was only ten points at half-time and a couple of shots from Tom O’Neill-Thorne then trimmed the deficit to just six halfway through the third term.
Turkey responded with a 16-3 run to finish the period though including an impressive buzzer-beater from Halil Bagli as he flew the length of the court to lay it in on the siren.
The frustration continued for Australia early in the fourth as they missed more looks while Turkey opened up a game-high 20-point lead with 7:29 remaining.
However, the Spinners did not give in and the switch finally flicked for them courtesy of Jeremy Tyndall (two points, four rebounds) who sparked a blistering 16-point run for the Aussies.
O’Neill-Thorne (31 points, ten rebounds, six assists, two steals) drilled a three-pointer during that streak and Brian Carminati (nine points, nine rebounds) also played a major role with the lead cut to just four points inside the final minute.
Unfortunately, time proved the enemy of the Spinners with Bagli sealing the game from the free-throw line to end any hope of a comeback victory.
The box score can be found here.
A short turnaround will now see the Spinners take on Japan for a shot at the bronze medal at midnight Saturday AEST (Friday night).
They will be aiming to replicate their efforts from 1997, 2005 and 2013 when they also won the bronze medal and you can tune in via the IWBF’s website here to watch Australia’s final game of the 2017 Under-23 World Championships.