The Aon Junior Tall Ferns have officially placed 5th at the FIBA Under 18 Asian Championship with a 75-47 win over Chinese Taipei.
New Zealand established themselves early in the contest and never looked back, closing out the tournament with a 2-3 record overall. They may not have qualified for the Under 19 World Cup next year, but they certainly put themselves on the map and will be a team to watch on a world scale moving forward.
Charlisse Leger-Walker top-scored for New Zealand with 18 points and 10 rebounds, including 4-of-8 shooting from three. Charlotte Whittaker closed out a strong tournament with 14 points and seven rebounds on 5-of-10 shooting, while Leah Mafua totaled 13 points and 10 rebounds with three 3-pointers. Koha Lewis added 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists on 4-of-7 shooting.
New Zealand crushed Chinese Taipei on the glass (63-34) and held them to just 26 per cent shooting from the field. The team’s 24 turnovers were the only blemish in a great performance overall, something that hindered them throughout the tournament.
China and Japan will play each other in the Asian Championship final. Both teams were in New Zealand’s pool to begin the tournament.
The full box score from the game can be found HERE.