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New Zealand stuns Australia 59-57, Guam registers first win
PAPUA NEW GUINEA (FIBA U15 Oceania Championship) - New Zealand pulled off a stunning 59-57 victory over regional rival Australia in the group phase of the FIBA U15 Oceania Championship in the humid Taurama Aquatic Center in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
Australia committed a costly turnover when Reegan Trego stole an errant pass from Dyson Daniels with 24.3 seconds left.
Trego missed both free throws that gave Daniels a chance to redeem himself but fell short on a potential game-tying triple, triggering a frenzied celebration from the NZL bench.
"I thought the boys were phenomenal! It's all about the players, they make the coaches look smart and good today with their execution and their effort," said the ecstatic NZL Head Coach Morgan Maskell
"It's is hard to temper the happiness, we do know there is a final, but not many New Zealand teams can say have beaten Australia in a youth event," he added.
Joshua Book led NZL's attack with 11 points while Benjamin Gold scattered six points and pulled down ten rebounds.
New Zealand was able to mitigate their miscues by controlling the rebounds to the tune of a 47-35 advantage.
Marcus Windhager and Joshua Duach scored 15 points each for the Aussies while Michael Walker added 10 points in the losing effort.
Meanwhile, Guam barged into the win column at the expense of host Papua New Guinea with an 86-60 victory.
13-year old Blaise Ada led Guam with 14 points including a perfect 2/2 shooting from rainbow country while Josiah Quintanilla, Rylen Cajigal and Caleb Espaldon chipped in 13, 12 and 10 points in that order.
Guam stepped on the pedal from the get-go, opening the game with a 12-0 run capped by Kyle De Leon's triple and never looked back.
Atti Bradley had another fantastic performance with 23 points while Morea Elavo drill 11 points in the losing effort.
In the first game of the day, Samoa took care of business with a clinical 96-58 victory over Fiji.
Moses Bartley led all scorers with 21 points while Jeremy Brown and Trizon Uatizone chipped in 17 and 12 points respectively.
Fiji struggled from the field shooting 33.9 percent and relied on Lorima Mucnabitu, who bled for nine points while captain Hendrix Harm contributed eight points.