U17 FIBA World Championship – day 2

FIBA U17 Men

The game day two of U17 FIBA World Championship in Kaunas (Lithuania) was both – boring and intense.

In the first game after last loss team Australia (1-1) 92:55 has blown out China (1-1) after 26 points and 8 rebounds performance of Dante Exum. Athletic guard went for 10 of 17 in the arc.

Other good contributors to this easy win were Michael Luxford – 13 points and Benjamin Simmons (7 rebounds) with Jack Purchase who both scored 10 points each. On China’s side the most seen youngster was Zhou Qi with 12 plus 8. Bo Liu had 10 points and 5 rebounds.

The next game was almost no different – 78:54 France (1-1) went through Egypt (0-2), who so far can’t get their first win in the tournament. Egyptians from the start were by far weaker than their opponents.

Even Elab Amin’s 17 points didn’t help them. The second best scorer in the team was Moataz Hosny, who scored 9 points and as well got 7 rebounds. For the winning side Damien Inglis contributed the most – 19 points and 11 rebounds.

He had nice help from his teammates: Paul Rigot (6 rebounds) and Charly Pontens (5 rebounds, 7 assists) both had 12 points each. Olivier Yao-Delon and Lionel Ebreuil (7 rebounds) – 10 points each.

Team USA (2-0) had no problem in their second game of the tournament as well. Americans easily 95:57 went through Czech Republic. All American players have scored, 7 of them – in double digits.

The USA was led by Dakari Johnson who just in 13 minutes managed to score 16 points and grab 12 rebounds. Jabar Parker had 12 plus 5, Conner Frankamp – 11. For Czechs 4 players scored 8 points each, but the best performance was by Prokop Slanina, who made 4 of his 9 field goals.

Other game, in which Croatia (2-0) faced Canada (1-1), was way more interesting. Both teams were seriously battling. After the 3rd quarter the difference between the teams was only 3 points.

However, Croatia won the last quarter with a result 25:15 and grabbed its 2nd win – 66:53. The duo of Croatia’s leaders played their role well – Mario Hezonja (11 rebounds) scored 21 point while Marko Arapovic added 11 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists. Canada had their scoring first options as Marial Shayok (6 rebounds) and Patrick Steeves (9 rebounds) – they scored 10 points each.

Without any doubt the game of the day was between hosts Lithuania and Korea teams. Koreans were ahead of their opponents the most of the time. With less than two minutes left in the 4th quarter they still had 6 points advantage, but that wasn’t enough – Lithuania came back and with 3 seconds to go Gediminas Zalalis made a basket, which tied the game.

Koreans still had a chance, but same G.Zalalis blocked their last shot and game went to the overtime. There Lithuania led by mentioned G.Zalalis and Edvinas Seskus in 5 minutes outscored their opponents 19:8 and Lithuanians celebrated the win – 119:108.

Koreans were hot from beyond the arc – in first two quarters they made 56% of their shots from distance while before the overtime their accuracy was 50% (17 shots of 34 attempts).

Like that they scored almost half of their points, but in overtime shots weren’t falling.
Lithuania: Gediminas Zalalis (13 rebounds, 5 blocks) – 27, Edvinas Seskus (15 rebounds, 5 turnovers) – 25, Ernestas Serkevicius (6 rebounds) – 16, Lukas Grabauskas (8 rebounds) – 14.

Korea: Hoon Heo (8 rebounds, 7 steals) – 37, Youngjun An (6/6 from beyond the arc, 7 rebounds) – 30, Goochan Kim – (6 rebounds) 16.

The hero of the game, G.Zalalis told reporters that team didn’t expect Koreans to be shooting that good while Lithuanians themselves tried to use their height advantage: “It was hard. They made lots of 3-pointers. We needed this win since we lost the first game against Canada”.

Lithuania’s head coach Paulius Juodus was happy about the win and self-confidence that came back: “We met with really non-standard team. You probably have seen it all by yourselves. When we watched their yesterday’s game against Spain we saw that they attempted about 45 three-pointers.

We were preparing for that, but the only difference from yesterday was that this time they made those shots. But I’m happy that we won, I’m happy that self-confidence came back and we will be preparing for the next game”.

In the last game Spain was outplayed by Argentina, which won the game with result 68:58. Argentina managed to get their lead in the first half while the second one was almost equal for both teams.

The winners were led by great game of Gabriel Deck – the player scored 28 points (9/13 two-pointers) and grabbed 8 rebounds. Rodrigo Haag helped him with 13 points and 5 rebounds. On the opposite team Alberto Martin had 11, Agusti Sans (5 rebounds) and Xavier Moix – 10.