Emus advance to semifinals after another blowout win | FIBA Oceania U19 Championships
|Olgun Uluc||Dec 4, 2014|
The Australian U19 Emus remain undefeated at the FIBA Oceania U19 Championships after yet another big win, blowing out the Solomon Islands 103-18.
Photo credit to John Wilson
George Blagojevic had his most impressive game of the tournament with 24 points and 16 rebounds while Rhys Vague continued his impressive form with 24 points and 15 rebounds.
The Emus came out of the gates looking to push the ball, deciding to play a more up-tempo style of basketball. Blagojevic was extremely active on both ends of the floor and he was reward with a lot of easy looks in the paint, finishing the 1st period with 13 points and 8 rebounds.
Australia's insistence to push the ball, as well as opting to play in a zone on the defensive end to counteract the poor shooting of the Solomon Islands, helped them extend the lead to a seemingly insurmountable to 62-9 at the half - Blagojevic already with a double-double (15 pts & 11 rbs).
George Blagojevic | Photo credit to Basketball Fiji
The 2nd half saw the Emus doing a great job attacking the glass, every Australian miss was seemingly grabbed off the offensive glass and put back. The Emus would finish the game with a staggering 73 rebounds (32 offensive).
Australia would wind up defeating the Solomon Islands 103-18.
Although the team put up 103 points, it was on the back of a relatively poor shooting night - the Emus shooting 45% from the field and a less-than-ideal 23% from behind the arc (15-for-52!)
Head coach Adam Caporn has continued to experiment with the lineup, as well as choosing to rest key players throughout the tournament. This game saw Dejan Vasiljevic sit out, with Tanner Krebs inserted back into the starting lineup.
It was another solid showing from Abi Akintola and Jordan Hunter, the 2 bigs off the bench. Akintola continued to be extremely active on both ends of the floor, posting an impressive 10 points and 8 rebounds. Hunter continued his great form with another double-double - 13 points and 14 rebounds.
The Emus will face Tahiti in their semi-final fixture at 2pm (AEST) on Friday.