Emus advance to Grand Final after rout of Tahiti | FIBA Oceania U19 Championships
|Olgun Uluc||Dec 5, 2014|
The Australian U19 squad have advance to the Grand Final of the FIBA Oceania U19 Championships after a 112-34 defeat of Tahiti. The Emus will face a tough New Zealand squad in what's expected to be an exciting matchup between the Oceania powerhouses.
Photo credit to John Wilson
George Blagojevic had his 2nd straight impressive game with 21 points and 7 rebounds while Jordan Hunter continues his solid form with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
The Emus began the game as they would've liked - an easy layup by Harry Froling followed up by an impressive jam by Kyle Clark.
Just like the Gems in their semifinal matchup, the Emus went into the game looking to push the ball in transition and get easy looks inside the paint. Tanner Krebs providing a great spark off the bench with 14 points in the 1st half.
To add insult to injury for the Tahitians, their leading scorer, Taumaiterani Luis Perez, went down with an injury after turning his ankle on the stanchion - he did not return to the game.
The Emus went into the main break with a 53-17 lead.
The Emus were simply too big for Tahiti, with the Tahitians unable to penetrate, having to settle for tough contested jump shots. While on the other end of the floor, Australia continued to force their way inside - as well as dominating the offensive glass.
Jordan Hunter was particularly impressive in the 2nd half, scoring 18 of his 20 points in the half - as well as pulling down a game-high 11 rebounds (5 offensive).
The Emus would come away with the 122-34 victory, advancing to the Grand Final game where they'll face the New Zealand Junior Tall Blacks.
Harry Froling | Photo credit to Basketball Fiji
Harry Froling had 7 points and 6 rebounds in his 2nd game back from illness. Froling - who stands at an imposing 6'9 - will be an extremely important factor in the Grand Final matchup vs New Zealand - with Kiwi big-men Tai Wynyard and Matthew Freeman looking to hurt the Aussies inside the paint on both ends of the floor. The impressive form of Jordan Hunter (6'9) and Rhys Vague (6'8) will also be important for the Emus' qualification hopes.
The New Zealand Junior Tall Blacks are the only other undefeated team left in the tournament, defeating their opposition in the same fashion as the Aussie Emus throughout the week.
The Emus will face New Zealand in the grand final at 4pm (AEST), the winner qualifying for the FIBA U19 World Championship in Greece next year.