The Aon New Zealand Under 17s weren’t able to take down France on Thursday morning, falling 48-88 in Argentina.
France’s length and athleticism were tough to overcome, as they held New Zealand to 30.8 per cent shooting from the field and 4-of-19 from three. They also forced 27 turnovers, New Zealand’s highest mark during the tournament so far.
Kainoa Lepou led the team in scoring with 11 points on 4-of-12 shooting, while Marvin Williams-Dunn added nine points with two 3-pointers. Anzac Rissetto had another solid game for New Zealand, posting nine points, eight rebounds and two assists on 3-of-5 shooting.
Head Coach Dave Bublitz was pleased with the team’s effort against one of the world’s top squads.
“Our goal was to try and play the game at our pace. We managed to do this for parts of the game. Our consistency and ability to stay disciplined for the full 40 minutes let us down.
“Keeping a team like France under 90 points was a great effort but we feel it could have been closer to 80. Their length and athletic ability caused problems as we turned the ball over too many times, leading to transition buckets for them.
New Zealand’s next game is against Serbia on Saturday morning. They’re officially out of contention now but they continue playing to determine seeding. Serbia went down to Turkey 87-68 in the Round of 16 after finishing second in Group B. The tip-off time is to be confirmed.
“It doesn’t get any easier for us now, as Serbia is next up; a world powerhouse,” said Bublitz.
“Hopefully with all the boys have learned, we can maintain better discipline and consistency which will help us remain in the fight throughout the game.”
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 France 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.