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NZ Under 17 Women beaten by Australia at Asian Championship

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Aon New Zealand Women’s U17 team was defeated by Australia in the opening game of the 2017 FIBA U16 Women’s Asian Championship in Bangalore today, going down 61-43.

Captain Charlisse Leger-Walker led the New Zealand effort with 13 points and 13 rebounds but it wasn’t the best of shooting performances from the Waikato star, connecting with just four from 17 field goal attempts. Waikato teammate Ella Bradley was next best with 6 points while Sharne Pupuke-Robati produced a solid 5 points and 6 rebounds.

Tayla Dalton also had a disappointing shooting night but a game high 5 steals emphasized her defensive prowess.

Understandably, in the opening game of the tournament, both teams made a nervous start and found baskets hard to come by in the early exchanges. Ella Bradley and Sharne Pupuke-Robati scored for the Kiwis who trailed 7-5 at quarter time.

Scoring was equally sluggish in the second period but an Isabelle Cook three kept New Zealand in touch trailing 14-8 at the back end of the second - 21-12 to Australia at half-time.

Bradley and Helen Mathews scored early in the third but a 14-4 run in favour of Australia extended its advantage to 19 points (36-17).

Paris Lokotui, Rosalia Sami and Leger-Walker helped the Ferns on a nice 9-5 run to close the third stanza with Australia 41-25 to the good.

Threes from Jordyn Maddix and Leger-Walker kept the Kiwis in touch - Tessa Talo-Tomokino pulling NZ to within 12 points with 5:54 to play but that was as close as they could get, Australia closing out the victory.

The Kiwis competed well on the boards edged 51-48 but will want to address the turnover count as the 27 given up allowed Australia 19 more shots than NZ.

Despite the result New Zealand head coach Lori McDaniel expressed quiet satisfaction with the overall performance of the team.

"I thought for a first game at this level for most of our players they did a very good job. We need to change a few things and certainly we need to control the turnovers. We also gave up 21 offensive rebounds, which is another area we need to address, but overall there were plenty of good things shown by the team.

"I thought Paris Lokotui in the paint and Jordyn Maddix with containment on defence did extremely good jobs and if we have everyone fulfilling their roles then the outcomes will change for us."

The next game for New Zealand is tomorrow (Monday October 23) against Korea. The tip off will again be at 6.30pm (NZ time).

FINAL SCORE

NZ 43 - Leger-Walker 13p/13r, Bradley 6p/4r, Pupuke-Robati 5p/6r, Cook 5, Maddix 5, Matthews 3, Lokotui 2, Samia 2, Talo-Tomokino 2

Australia 61 - Heal 10, Palmer 10, Hollingsworth 10

The top four teams at the Asian Championship will qualify for that World Cup, which is to be played in Minsk, Belarus next year.

New Zealand has been drawn in ‘Group A’ alongside Australia, Korea and Chinese Taipei.

Once Pool Play is completed, the Group A teams will cross over with the Pool B teams in the quarter-final match ups. Pool B is made up of three times champions China, Japan, Thailand and Hong Kong.

NZ Under 17 Women’s Team:

- Ella Bradley (Waikato Basketball Council)

- Isabelle Cook (Taranaki Country Basketball Association)

- Tayla Dalton (Harbour Basketball)

- Charlisse Leger-Walker (Waikato Basketball Council)

- Paris Lokotui (Wellington Basketball Association)

- Jordyn Maddix (Harbour Basketball)

- Helen Matthews (North Canterbury Basketball Association)

- Kyra Paniora (Australia)

- Sharne Pupuke-Robati (Auckland Counties Manukau)

- Briarley Rogers (Tauranga City Basketball Association)

- Rosalia Samia (Basketball Hawkes Bay)

- Tessalonia Talo-Tomokino (Harbour Basketball)

Staff:

- Lori McDaniel - Head Coach

- Jody Cameron - Assistant Coach

- Gina Farmer - Assistant Coach

- Ushma Shah - Manager

- Tegan Tapara - Physiotherapist

- Delwyn Whale - Head of Delegation

For more on the FIBA U16 Women’s Asia Cup, including information about livestreaming, games and times, go to the official FIBA website here: http://www.fiba.basketball/asia/u16women/2017

-Clarification: Please note that New Zealand and FIBA’s terminology are different - FIBA Under 16’s means 16 years and younger, which is the equivalent of New Zealand’s Under 17’s.

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