Australia managed to blow-out Puerto Rico behind strong efforts from Dejan Vasiljevic and Isaac Humphries, a 76-52 win propelling them to the semifinals of the FIBA U17 World Championship.
Dejan Vasiljevic had his best game of the tournament with 21 pts & 13 rbs while Isaac Humphries continued his strong play with 16 pts (7/8 FG) & 11 rbs.
The 1st quarter saw Dejan Vasiljevic finally get out of his shooting slump – nailing 3-of-4 from downtown for 13 points. Australia managed to open up a double-digit lead, ahead of Puerto Rico 23-12.
The 2nd quarter saw more of the same from Vasiljevic as Australia extended their lead even further. Surprisingly Humphries only had 2 field goal attempts in the 1st half (after scoring 61 combined points in his previous 2 games). With Puerto Rico’s Arnaldo Toro in foul trouble, Australia took full advantage to enter the half with a 41-26 lead.
Australia got Isaac Humphries more involved to start the 2nd half, the star big-man with a few dunks to start the quarter. As expected, Australia’s guards cooled off in this quarter, but Humphries managed to score 9 of his 16 points in the period, while holding off an offensive outburst by Puerto Rico’s leading scorer Arnaldo Toro, as the lead stood at 57-44.
The Australian ‘Goannas’ were propelled by Tom Wilson in the 4th quarter, the team captain nailing 3 three-pointers in the final period – the final score sitting at 76-52.
Tom Wilson entered the game having made just 1 of his 20 three-point attempts. He struggled early on but got hot in the 4th quarter, nailing all 3 of his 3-point attempts – a welcome change for the Aussie captain. Wilson totalled 11 pts & 5 rbs in this game.
A great moment was when fan-favourite Deng Gak saw the court for the first time this tournament, promptly nailing a 3-pointer – much to the delight of the Australian bench.
As has been the trend all tournament, turnovers continue to plague this squad – committing 21 in this fixture. The positive trend for Australia has been their free-throw numbers, shooting 13-of-14 from the line in this game and an impressing 79.5% for the tournament.
Australia will face Spain in the semifinal at 3am (AEST) on Saturday morning.