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Australia crowned 2018 FIBA U15 Oceania champions
PAPUA NEW GUINEA (FIBA U15 Oceania Championship) - Australia is the champion of the FIBA U15 Oceania Championship.
The Crocs refused to die and finished with a flurry to take a thrilling 61-58 victory over New Zealand in the Final.
"We feel blessed to get over the line, New Zealand has played fantastic all tournament, and we had two hard-fought games with them. We're proud of what the guys accomplished here," said Australia head coach Nathan Brown.
Down by three with less than two minutes left, Sejr Deans' sank four free throws in the final minute to give Australia the lead 59-58 with 17.2 ticks left.
Joshua Book's last attempt at the basket missed, and Deans scored as time expired for the final count.
"One of the things about Australia is we get everybody's game, and this tournament showed it to us. Our guys are, and it's a testament to all their hard work this week," said Brown.
Dyson Daniels and Deans tallied 15 points apiece while Joshua Duach chipped in 14 points in the win.
Australia's defense shifted into a higher gear in the final quarter when they limited New Zealand to only five points.
Joshua Book top-scored for NZL with 16 points while Tafara Gapare and Sataan Tawera added 12 and 10 points respectively.
Australia and New Zealand are the qualified teams to the FIBA U16 Championship next year.