The Australian U17 Men’s squad has opened their FIBA Oceania U16 Championship campaign with an impressive win over Tahiti.
Australia dominated the paint, towering over a smaller Tahitian team to come away with the 108-33 victory.
With the Australian squad facing a small island nation, the narrative remained the same. The towering Aussies took full advantage of their size and length to dominate the game on both ends of the floor, not letting Tahiti get into any kind of rhythm.
It was clear from the get-go that this game would be a no-contest, with Australia jumping out to a quick 10-0 lead, led by the Victorian front-court duo of Mate Colina and Matthew Johns.
Sam Froling, who was named our MVP of this year’s U16’s Australian Junior Championships, provided a big spark off the bench, showing off his versatility – 12 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists at the half – to help Australia to a 55-9 lead heading into the main break.
The second half saw more of the same, Australia continuing to dominate every facet of the game, this time led by the NSW duo of Ben Fakira and Dragan Elkaz. Australia managed to put the game even further out of reaching, extending their lead to 85-13 heading into the final quarter.
Despite an improved effort on the offensive end in the fourth period from Tahiti, the Australians would still walk away with the blow-out win – 108-33, the final score.
Sam Froling stuffed the stat-sheet with 20 points, 14 rebounds and 6 assists, while Ben Fakira posted an impressive 14 points and 7 rebounds off the bench.
Australia may have impressed on-lookers with a 75-point win margin, but it was New Zealand who put forward the more dominant scoreline of the day, coming away with a 145-36 victory over New Caledonia.
The Australian U17 Men’s squad will face a tough New Zealand squad during Sunday’s action, tipping off at 3pm (AEST).
For more information on the roster, schedule, live stats and recaps, visit our Australian U17 Men’s central page.