CREDIT: Basketball Australia – http://www.basketball.net.au/17s-begin-warm-tour-china-ahead-world-champs/
With the 2016 FIBA U17 World Championships beginning on June 22, the Australian Under-17 men have embarked on a warm-up tour of China, completing games against Croatia, China and Lithuania so far.
The tour kicked off with an 84-72 victory over Croatia, with the Australians leading by as much as 21 at three-quarter time.
The Croatians looked to utilise their bigger bodies under the rim but the Australians stood firm with Kody Stattman pacing the side with 12 points on 80% shooting. Callum Dalton (10 points, four rebounds) and Mate Colina (11 points) also starred while Tom Fullarton collected nine points and five rebounds.
Playing catch-up ball after a 12-0 start from China the following day, Australia struggled to pull themselves back into the contest, falling 54-69. They did win the final term 21-14 in a positive sign as they ran out the game but the more experienced Chinese team proved too good.
Samson Froling made his presence known at both ends of the floor with eight points, eight boards and two blocks while Kyle Zunic combined seven points with three steals. Kyle Bowen was efficient at the offensive end, scoring eight points on 66% shooting.
Against one of the teams to beat in this year’s tournament, Australia dropped their second game of the tour to Lithuania in an 84-61 defeat.
A slow start again proved their downfall, giving up the first eight points of the contest but Dalton (14 points) and Froling (11 points) provided strong performances while Tom Fullarton (nine points, nine rebounds) and Patrick Bines (seven points, eight boards) both went close to a double-double.
Australia’s tour of China continues through this week before they head to Zaragoza, Spain for a prep tournament starting on June 12.