02 - 08
April 2018
Who will make it to the FIBA U16 Asian Championship Final?
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Who will make it to the FIBA U16 Asian Championship Final?

FOSHAN (FIBA U16 Asia Championship) - Only four teams remain, and they will duke it in the Semi-Finals for the right to play in the FIBA U16 Asian Championship Final and lift the elusive first place cup.

Here are the outlooks for our two Semi-Finals matchups:

Australia v New Zealand

Two familiar foes meet again, and boy are stakes high this time around. Australia are coming in as the second best team in terms of assists and three-point shooting, and those are certainly two facets that New Zealand have to keep in check in this game. Australia are also one of the biggest teams in the tournament, especially at the perimeter where guys like Wani Swaka Lo Buluk, Luke Travers and Joel Capetola can easily pass or shoot over opposing wingmen. They'll have to contend with New Zealand's own hefty frontliners, though, namely Mitch Dance, Shalom Broughton and Jake McKinlay. It may be at the point guard position where things get mighty interesting, however, as New Zealand's Tom Cowie has been on a tear, while Australia's Tamuri Wigness is only quietly getting into a groove. The Crocs are going to be favored in this encounter, but if Mitch Dance goes off or if the Aussies get careless in the final quarter, then an upset may yet happen.

China v Philippines

These are the two tallest teams in the field, which makes it only fitting that they are also the two best rebounding teams right now. That may just be the most crucial aspect of this joust because the Philippines' Kai Sotto does a lot of damage not really with his first shot but rather with his second or even his third in a single possession. The same can be said of the entire Chinese team, which average 26.0 second chance points per game. Whoever controls the rebounds should have a lion's share of the odds at winning. Having said that, the clear marquee matchup is between towering players Sotto and Jiao Boqiao. Sotto is the only player here who can boast of being taller than Jiao, and it seems fitting that they'll finally get to square off. Jiao seems the more mobile of the two, but Kai has shown a lot more versatility and much better rim protection. Those will be key, especially when China's wingmen like Sun Haoqin and Lu Pengyu start attacking. The hosts are also playing with a collective chip on their shoulder as Batang Gilas dealt them their first ever loss in U16 Asia history in the 2015 edition, so this promises to be a very intense and exciting affair.