After a resounding victory against the undefeated Italian’s, Australia were unable to overcome hosts Germany in the final of the 2018 Albert Schweitzer Tournament, coming away with their country’s second silver medal at the event and fifth overall.
TITELVERTEIDIGER!!! Der Traum von Mannheim ist vollbracht! Deutschland gewinnt zum zweiten Mal das #AST2018. Im Finale gegen Australien gab's ein klares 88:66. #KoerbefuerD #Basketball pic.twitter.com/CJTL4M8Fik
— Dt. Basketball Bund (@DBB_Basketball) April 7, 2018
Despite a 20 point and 10 rebound double-double from Samson Froling and 18 points from Alex Ducas, Australia were placed on the back foot early against a red-hot German outfit determined to defend their 2016 title. The hosts took control from the outset, connecting on 12-21 from beyond the three-point line and 14-17 from the charity stripe to run away to a convincing 66-88 win.
After a tough first period which saw the visitors trail by 13 points. Ducas stepped up with 10 points in the second period to try and keep his side in touch, but the Germans were rolling and had extended the margin to 25 points at half time.
Australia had regrouped at half time and looked more like the team that had beaten Italy. Froling, Ducas and Callum Dalton all contributed towards a 10-0 that gave them some hope of a possible comeback with the margin back under 20. Australia’s defense was able to slow the scoring of the Germans in the second half, and while the lads from down under won the final two periods, it was not enough to overcome the first half deficit as they went down by 22 points.
While Froling and Ducas were prominent for Australia, Aiden Krause who had been so prevalent and consistent all tournament was restricted to just 5 points on 2-7 shooting. Callum Dalton added 12 points in the final, and was rewarded for his great tournament by being named to the All-Star Five.
Froling finished the tournament as Australia’s leading scorer, rebounder and most efficient player in averaging 14.9 points (eighth in the event) and 8.3 rebounds (fourth) and an efficiency rating of 17.6 (sixth) per game.
Australia has a rich history success in participating at the Albert Schweitzer tournament, and is just one of just 11 countries to have won the event. With two bronze medals in 1994 and 2008, Australia’s only win came in 2010 when Mitch Creek was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. David Andersen also earned MVP honours back in 1998 when Australia last claimed silver behind Spain.