FIBA U17 World Championships recap

FIBA U17 World ChampionshipsThe quarter-finals of the FIBA U17 World Championships have been set as the eight teams who qualified from the round of 16 stage line up to face each other on Thursday.

Spain vs. Argentina, 64-57
Spain advanced to the next stage of the competition with a tough win over Argentina as the team look to go better than the fourth place finish in the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championships. Argentina took the lead in the first quarter, but only sent in eight points through the second frame to give Spain a low scoring 24-20 lead at halftime. In the third frame Spain increased its lead and went into the final quarter six points ahead, before closing out the game in a tight fourth. Santiago Yusta knocked down 18 points for Spain, but was matched by Jorge Mas Delfino’s 18 points for Argentina.

Greece vs. Australia, 76-84
Australia finished as runner up in the 2012 tournament and will be in the hunt once again in 2014 after gunning down Greece to punch a ticket to the Q/F. The first half proved to be extremely close as the two teams fought for control of the court, with Australia ultimately leading the contest by a single point at halftime. In the third frame the Aussies began to take control and poured in 29 points to have a fourteen point lead at the last break. Greece won the final stanza, but could not score enough to win the game. Issac Humphries took a double-double for Australia with 20 points and 16 rebounds, while Antonios Koniaris scored a game high 21 points for the downed Greeks.

United Arab Emirates vs. Serbia, 31-116
Serbia demolished the United Arab Emirates in arguably the most impressive display of the day, streaming in more than 100 points in the process. Considering the team won by 85 points, it is an understatement to say the Serbians cruised through the game, and indeed the contest was never in doubt. By halftime the UAE had been restricted to just 12 points after 20 minutes of play, while Serbia had sent 52 points crashing through the nets. Nikola Popovic led the impressive Serbian team with 26 points and 14 rebounds for a double-double. Popovic was followed by Slobodan Jovanovic with 21 points, 6 boards, and 6 assists, while six players in total scored in double digits for the winners.

Puerto Rico vs. Egypt, 86-79 OT
The closest game of the night was contested between Puerto Rico and Egypt as the game was decided with an extra frame of Basketball. Puerto Rico looked strong in the first half and with the midway buzzer sounding had carved out a 49-37 lead hold a 12 point advantage. Egypt responded through the second half by getting to grip with the game and chipping into the deficit, tying the game after 40 minutes. In the extra period, the Puerto Rico players found their touch again to win the stanza 15-8 to progress to the next stage.

USA vs. Japan, 122-38
As reigning champs of the FIBA U17 World Championships, big things are expected of the USA again this year. The defending champions certainly delivered by taking Japan apart and scoring the most points of the round, pouring in 122 points and sending a message to the other teams. The USA sent home a whopping 41 points during the first quarter alone, and more impressively restricted the beleaguered Japanese to just six points. Jayson Tatum top scored for the US with 19 points, while Malik Newman secured 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 dimes for the winners. Impressively, Rui Hachimura scored almost all of Japan’s points on his way to a game high of 25.

Philippines vs. France, 57-86
France never looked unduly troubled as they eased into the quarter-final stage by seeing off the Philippines in comfortable fashion. The French managed to put together a six point lead by halftime, leading 41-35 at the long break. From there Les Bleus never looked back as they cruised through the third and fourth quarters. Amine Noua impressed in the winning effort with 21 points and 12 rebounds, while Stephane Gombauld also had a double-double with 14 points and a massive 20 boards.

Italy vs. China, 67-79

China also progressed in the FIBA U17 World Championships by downing Italy. The game was largely won in the first quarter as the Chinese exploded from the tip off to score 27 points while holding the Azzurri to just 8 points. Italy spent the rest of the game trying to close that deficit but ultimately fell short as China held firm. Zhao Yanhao led the Chinese success with a stunning 32 point haul, while Hu Jinqiu took a double-double of 19 points and 17 rebounds.

Angola vs. Canada, 59-106
Canada was the third team to score 100 points as they swept aside Angola to cruise into the quarter-final. The Canadians used a 31-7 run in the second quarter to take control of the game and in the second half maintained consistency and put plenty of points on the scoreboard. Koby McKewen led the way with 21 points and 7 rebounds in the victory.

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