The Aon New Zealand Under 18 (U18) teams have opened their Oceania campaigns with strong victories.
The AON New Zealand U18 boys team has won their first game at the FIBA Under 17 Oceania Championships* in Guam with a 106 to 36 victory over Tahiti.
Coach Miles Pearce said he was satisfied with the first up win against Tahiti 106-36. ‘A slow start with issues with our offensive fluidity, however happy with the win and looking forward to the game against Guam at 5pm tomorrow.
The slow start to the game for New Zealand was due to the aggressive play of the Tahitians on the defensive end and taking New Zealand out of their offence. Some early good shooting from Kruz Perrott-Hunt with two 3 point shots settled them into the game, however defensively the Kiwis showed some lapses in communication.
Coach Pearce would make some substitutions late in the quarter and some assertive play from Max Degeest with a couple of steals and two lay ups would give NZ a 30-11 1st quarter edge.
The second quarter would play out like the first, so the Kiwis would go into the second half leading 52-20. After the halftime break, New Zealand would rattle the Tahitians, taking advantage of the fact that the Tahitians would get into foul troubles early. With a 32-9 edge in the third quarter and leading 82-26 going into the fourth. NZ would continue the momentum and dominate the Tahitians in the fourth quarter, again with some great play from Max degeest and Tom Higgins, and would win the game 106-36. Max degeest notched up with 21 points and 10 rebounds and Tom Higgins 14 points and 9 rebounds.
Aon NZ U18 Girls v Guam
A dominant display and first hit out from the NZ Girls team beating Guam 139-34. Head Coach Jody Cameron was happy with the good start.
"We're happy with the offensive execution and our transition offence, creating turnovers with our defence and scoring off those," said Cameron.
Great defensive pressure saw New Zealand lead at the end of the first quarter 37-6.
They continued imposing their defence and led at halftime 65-12. The final result was a resounding win to New Zealand. Leading scorers included Lawrin Tipene, Keeley Tini and Aimee Book 20 points and Charlisse Ledger Walker had 14 points and 6 assists. Tomorrow the NZ Girls team will play New Caledonia at 1pm.
For more information, see the tournament's website HERE.
For more go to www.basketball.org.nz and Basketball New Zealand’s social media channels: @BasketballNZ via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
*New Zealand definition of age is one year different from FIBA. e.g. We say Under 18 is yet to turn the age of 18, which is what FIBA terms as Under 17.