Montenegro proved too good for the Aon New Zealand Under 17s on Monday morning, as they fell 56-80 in Argentina.
It is New Zealand’s second loss at the tournament and, with just one game left against Canada, effectively eliminates them from contention.
Montenegro jumped out to a big 27-11 lead in the first quarter, taking control of the game early and asserting their dominance. New Zealand, however, did manage to win the second quarter 14-11, but they just couldn’t make up for the large deficit early on.
Mitchell Dance led the scoring for New Zealand with 14 points. He added eight rebounds and two steals in 27 minutes, shooting 6-of-15 from the field.
Anzac Rissetto was productive with 13 points and nine rebounds on 6-of-10 shooting, while Marvin Williams-Dunn scored 10 points with three steals.
New Zealand improved their field goal percentage in today’s contest, but at 37.3 per cent it wasn’t quite high enough to keep up with Montenegro’s efficiency, who shot 14-of-37 on 3-point attempts. New Zealand were 2-of-16 from distance.
Head Coach Dave Bublitz was happy with the team’s effort despite the loss.
“The boys played really well today despite the loss. The belief and effort that was somewhat absent yesterday was definitely there today,” said Bublitz.
“Montenegro got off to a flyer, shooting 60 per cent from three in the first quarter. The boys refused to drop it and limited Montenegro’s attempts in the second quarter. It frustrated them to only be down 13 at halftime.”
“We have a day off before our next game, so it’ll be a good opportunity to get some extra work in.”
The team’s final game will be against No. 2 seed Canada on Wednesday morning. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:45am NZT.
All games at the FIBA Under 17 World Cup are being live streamed on the FIBA Youtube channel, or you can watch live on the Basketball New Zealand Facebook page.
The full box score for New Zealand’s game against Montenegro can be found HERE, and highlights from the game can be found HERE.
- See FIBA’s tournament website here: https://www.fiba.basketball/world/u17/2018
- More basketball news at www.nz.basketball and Basketball New Zealand’s social media channels: @BasketballNZ Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.