U17 Men continue World Champs warm-up tour

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The Australian Under-17 men have continued their fortnight long tour of China in preparation for the U17 World Championships which begin on June 22.

Travelling to Shenzhen, Australia matched-up against Croatia firstly in a 24,000 capacity stadium but were unable to come away with a victory.

Trailing by just one point at quarter-time, a 9-24 second term proved decisive as they fell 53-67.

The following night saw Australia put up a desperate fight against China, charging home from a seven-point deficit at the last break to lose by just four, 73-77.

Kody Stattman paced the side with 17 points, Dragan Elkaz scored ten points at 66% shooting, Tom Fullarton added nine points, four boards, two assists and two steals while Mate Colina was strong at the defensive end with nine points, four rebounds and two blocks.

Their tour continued with a game against an older and more physical Lithuania Under-20’s side and Australia again fought hard to push their opponents all the way before succumbing 51-63.

An eight-man team then fronted up to play Croatia with three players suffering food poisoning and one injured but a hot start saw Australia open a 19-7 at quarter-time.

A strong second half eventually gave Croatia the win, 69-62, but Sean MacDonald tallied 14 points, three assists and two steals and Fullarton added 14 points, five assists and two steals.

Australia’s tour will culminate with a game against China’s Under-17 side, a team they will meet in the pool games at the World Champs.

The full schedule for the World Champs can be found via FIBA’s website here.