The New Zealand U15 boys and girls teams have officially qualified for the U16 FIBA Asian Championship next year, following their victories on Day Four at the Oceania Championship in Papua New Guinea.
The boys took down Samoa in their matchup, winning 105-63. Yet again, it was another total team effort to get the job done. Tafara Gapare totaled a team-high 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field and 1-of-2 from three. Joshua Book scored 14 points with three 3-pointers, while Levick Kerr and Ethan Skelton each scored 11. New Zealand dominated the battle on the glass, outrebounding Samoa 64-38.
They’re the only unbeaten team at the Oceania Championship and will look to secure a gold medal with a win over Australia later today. The two teams met just days ago in the group stage, and it was New Zealand coming away with a 59-57 win.
The girls played tremendous defence in their 86-27 win over Fiji. Zaaliyah Kailahi-Fulu continued her stellar play with 20 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field. Alana Paewai chipped in 11 points with six steals, while Missy Nuku was productive with eight points, eight rebounds and six steals. New Zealand shot 45.2 per cent from the field and held Fiji to just 23.5 per cent (12-of-51). They also forced Fiji to commit a whopping 48 turnovers.
Like the boys, they’ll have a date with Australia in the gold medal game. Australia came away with the 94-34 win in the first meeting, but New Zealand will not shy away from the challenge.
Select games are being live streamed on the FIBA website. You can find more info here: http://www.fiba.basketball/oceania/u15/2018.
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