The Aon New Zealand Under 17s have placed 14th at the FIBA World Cup in Argentina, after falling to the Philippines 51-73 on Monday morning.
The team finished with a 1-6 record overall, with their lone win coming against China on Sunday. New Zealand played some of the world’s top teams during their time at the World Cup and certainly have a lot to be proud of in the country’s first-ever appearance at the Under 17 event.
Mitchell Dance recorded a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds in 28 minutes of work. He also hit two 3-pointers on five attempts. Shalom Broughton added 10 points for New Zealand, while Anzac Rissetto continued his solid effort on the glass with 12 rebounds.
The Philippines’ 7-foot-2 centre Kai Sotto was dominant with 22 points, 10 rebounds, one steal and four blocks on 10-of-18 shooting.
New Zealand shot just 25.3 per cent from the field and were 5-of-24 on their 3-point attempts, as their shooting struggles in Argentina continued. The team also committed 18 turnovers, compared to just eight for the Philippines.
Head Coach Dave Bublitz was disappointed the boys couldn’t pull through against a team they’ve beaten three times in the past but said the tournament was an eye opener and a tremendous learning experience.
“The boys played so well yesterday and to back it up with a loss against a team we have beaten three times takes the shine off things a little. Our numbers in the box score would indicate we should have at least been close, however, as it turned out our inability to score all tournament manifested itself today.
“I hope the boys learn from their experience in Argentina. Being mentally prepared for all challenges and dealing with international length and speed would be obvious things. Personally, for me it was an eye-opener to witness first-hand the ability of these young men from around the world."
New Zealand was able to put themselves on the Under 17 map by qualifying for the World Cup and have plenty to build off of for future events.
The full box score for New Zealand’s game against the Philippines can be found HERE, and a full overview of the team's results at the FIBA Under 17 World Cup 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.