Australia win 2019 FIBA U17 Oceania Championship
Paita (New Caledonia) - Defending champion Australia completed a double-gold medal romp the 2019 FIBA U17 Oceania Championship following the win of its Women's counterpart over-familiar rival New Zealand, 85-56, in the Finals at the L'Arene de Sud ni Noumea, New Caledonia.
Australia and New Zealand are now one step closer to the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup with their qualification to the 2020 FIBA U18 Asian Championship.
It was a fitting follow up of the Crocs to the Sapphires' 88-41 win over New Zealand in the championship of the Women's division.
Australia stamped its class in the first half alone, racing to a quick 45-28 win to set the pace in this dominating 29-point win.
Joshua Giddey stuffed the stat sheet with 25 points on near-perfect 9-of-11 shooting to go along 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 6 steals in just 29 minutes of play.
Providing solid support for him were Biwali Bayles and Tamuri Wigness with 12 markers each. Blake Jones and Taran Armstrong also added 11 apiece in a well-scatted Australian attack.
Mac Stodard, for his part, paced the Junior Tall Blacks with 15 markers and 2 rebounds.
New Zealand took home the Silver Medal in this eight-team Oceania joust for the 17-and-under aspiring teens.
Meanwhile, Samoa used a massive third-quarter explosion to take down Tahiti, 87-59, and seal the third spot at the close of the 2019 FIBA U17 Oceania Championship men's division.
Up by just 32-15 at the half, Samoa erupted for 30 points in the third frame compared to Tahiti's 13 to create a huge 24-point spread that they never squandered the rest of the way.
Tyrone Hettig paced the squad in scoring with 20 markers but CJ Ioane and Egon Keil also proved instrumental with solid double-double outings.
Ioane came up with 19 points, 15 rebounds and 3 steals while Keil hauled down 18 markers, 23 boards, 4 assists, and 3 steals.
Meanwhile, Maui Roopina was the only bright spot for Airri Meuel-mentored Tahiti with an all-around effort of 31 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 5 steals and 2 steals in a losing cause.
After an unblemished campaign in the prelims and tough semis loss, Tahiti fell out of the podium with this setback against the Samoans.