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Australia outlasts New Zealand to take Oceania Gold
GUAM (FIBA Oceania Championship 2017) – Australia has taken Gold at the FIBA Oceania Championship 2017, defeating New Zealand 93-55 in the final game of the event.
Kody Stattmann led Australia with 23 points, while teammate Sam Froling had a monster performance with 22 points and 13 rebounds.
Australia played well offensively, knocking down tough shots and using their physicality to both outrebound New Zealand, and outscore them in the paint.
“Feels great. All the boys put in hard work and we didn’t get much training before we came, but overall it’s a great feeling.” Stattman said after the game.
Throughout the tournament, Stattmann said his team performed well during the tournament and played aggressively.
Stattmann was named in the All-Star 5 averaging 31 points and 4.4 steals for the event. Stattmann was joined by the other All-Star members; Sean MacDonald (AUS), Gabriel Takumi Simon (GUM), Oscar Oswald (NZL) and Sam Froling (AUS) who was also named the Championship game MVP.
“Overall, I think we did really good. Coach told us to go out there and play aggressive, and I think we did that throughout the tournament.”
To counter New Zealand’s physicality, Stattmann said that the overall message of playing aggressively was the team’s main focus throughout the game and helped his team pull out the win.
Australia will now move onto the FIBA U18 Asia Championship 2018 in the hopes of securing one of the four FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2019 qualifying spots up for grabs.