Action has gotten underway in the U-17 World Championships in Dubai. Team USA has been dominant in this division of international play. It has never lost in the history of the competition, having gone 8-0 in both 2010 and 2012.
The likes of Tyus Battle, Malik Newman and Diamond Stone will be doing everything in their power to keep Team USA undefeated.
Watch for Stone to be especially dominant in Dubai. The 6'10" center from Dominican High School in Milwaukee Wisconsin figures to be a load on the block for any opponent.
Here's what Scout Hoops said about Stone:
Stone's footwork is highly refined for a young center, and he delivers via turnaround jump shots, hooks and, of course, dunks. Because he's both tall and solidly built, he projects long-term as a power low-block scorer who also possesses a finesse scoring touch. Stone can step out to 12-15 feet in and knock down shots already, and his range should expand over time. athleticism doesn't overwhelm, but he certainly isn't suffering from a deficit.
Stone, Battle and Newman give Team USA elite wings and low-post presence.
With seven games on tap for Friday, the action was hot and heavy. Here's the scores, the schedule and a recap of each completed game.
|Aug. 8||Final||Angola 82, Philippines 72|
|Aug. 8||Final||Greece 73, United States 83|
|Aug. 9||Final||United States 99, Angola 56|
|Aug. 9||Final||Philippines 65, Greece 85|
|Aug. 11||Final||Angola 51, Greece 35|
|Aug. 11||Final||United States 124, Philippines 64|
|Aug. 8||Final||Japan 84, Australia 97|
|Aug. 8||Final||France 76. Canada 66|
|Aug. 9||Final||Canada 96, Japan 52|
|Aug. 9||Final||Australia 84, France 81|
|Aug. 11||Final||Japan 51, France 96|
|Aug. 11||Final||Canada 85, Australia 74|
|Aug. 8||Final||Puerto Rico 67, Spain 65|
|Aug. 8||Final||United Arab Emirates 32, Italy 121|
|Aug. 9||Final||Italy 51, Puerto Rico 58|
|Aug. 9||Final||Spain 138, United Arab Emirates 27|
|Aug. 11||Final||Italy 64, Spain 50|
|Aug. 11||Final||Puerto Rico 110, United Arab Emirates 53|
|Aug. 8||Final||Serbia 80, China 68|
|Aug. 8||Final||Argentina 74, Egypt 39|
|Aug. 9||Final||Egypt 63, Serbia 81|
|Aug. 9||Final||Argentina 75, China 70|
|Aug. 11||Final||China 84, Egypt 58|
|Aug. 11||Final||Argentina 57, Serbia 60|
Round of 16
|Aug. 12||Final||USA 122, Japan 38|
Canada 106, Angola 59
|Aug. 12||Final||France 86, Philippines 57|
|Aug. 12||Final||China 79, Italy 67|
|Aug. 12||Final||Puerto Rico 86, Egypt 79|
|Aug. 12||Final||Serbia 116, United Arab Emirates 31|
|Aug. 12||Final||Australia 84, Greece 76|
|Aug. 12||Final||Spain 64, Argentina 57|
|Aug. 14||Final||Italy 83, Japan 56|
|Aug. 14||Final||Angola 89, United Arab Emirates 47|
|Aug. 14||Final||USA 113, China 71|
|Aug. 14||Final||Argentina 84, Philippines 71|
|Aug. 14||Final||Serbia 71, Canada 64|
|Aug. 14||Final||Greece 67, Egypt 50|
|Aug. 14||Final||Australia 76, Puerto Rico 52|
|Aug. 14||Final||Spain 71, France 67|
|Aug. 15||Final||Italy 77, Angola 71|
|Aug. 15||Final||Japan 91, United Arab Emirates 49|
|Aug. 15||Final||Canada 92, China 81|
|Aug. 15||Final||Egypt 92, Philippines 67|
|Aug. 15||Final||Puerto Rico 70, France 63|
|Aug. 15||Final||Argentina 65, Greece 54|
|Aug. 15||Final||USA 89, Serbia 68|
|Aug. 15||Final||Australia 80, Spain 74|
|Aug. 16||Final||Egypt 68, Japan 53||13/14|
|Aug. 16||Final||Angola 59, Greece 51||11/12|
|Aug. 16||Final||Italy 66, Argentina 62||9/10|
|Aug. 16||Final||China 87, France 79||7/8|
|Aug. 16||Final||Puerto Rico 65, Canada 63||5/6|
|Aug. 16||Final||Philippines 115, United Arab Emirates 51||15/16|
|Aug. 16||Final||Serbia 62, Spain 59||3/4|
|Aug. 16||Final||USA 99, Australia 92||1/2|
All results, stats and schedule per FIBA.com
Day 7 Recap
USA 99, Australia 92
The United States won its third consecutive U17 World Championship with a 99-92 win over Australia.
Malik Newman led the way for the Americans, totaling 21 points, 11 rebounds and three assists to win the MVP award. As USA Basketball notes, he joins some impressive company in the young history of the tournament:
Interestingly, Newman was the only player on the team to hit a shot from behind the arc, with the rest of the squad combining to go 0-of-7. Still, the 57-31 rebound differential helped the team get tons of second-chance points.
Australia's Dejan Vasiljevic had 29 points in the losing effort.
Serbia 62, Spain 59
In a back-and-forth game, Serbia got the last laugh when Spain's Sergi Garcia missed a three-point shot in the closing seconds. Serbia were able to hold on for the three-point lead and secure a third-place finish in this tournament.
Ramon Vila managed 20 points and 10 rebounds for Spain, but it was not enough to overcome Nikola Rakicevic, Vanja Marinkovic and the rest of the Serbian squad.
Philippines 115, United Arab Emirates 51
United Arab Emirates were once again outclassed as the hosts lost by 64 points against the Philippines.
Five players finished in double figures for the Philippines, led by 25 from Paul Desiderio. Of course, the defense was the story as UAE finished with zero assists and 33 turnovers in a losing effort. The host nation will have to settle for last place in the tournament after a rough week.
Puerto Rico 65, Canada 63
Ivan Gandia hit the game-winning basket to break a 63-63 tie in the closing seconds to help Puerto Rico win one of the closest battles of the tournament.
Canada held an eight-point lead at halftime, but the squad could not hold on thanks to great guard play by Puerto Rico. Gandia finished with 14 points and three assists with Leandro Allende adding 16 points as the squad was able to secure a respectable fifth place.
China 87, France 79
There were some great individual efforts on display in the battle for seventh place.
Jinqiu Hu, Yahhao Zhao and Hao Fu combined for 71 points for China as France could not contain the trio anywhere on the court. Amine Noua managed 32 points and nine rebounds in the losing effort, although he did not receive much help in the disappointing loss.
Italy 66, Argentina 62
Italy used some great three-point shooting to stay ahead of Argentina in their final game of the tournament. The squad went 8-of-18 from beyond the arc and consistently got to the free-throw line to go ahead and stay there to earn ninth place.
Maximo Fjellerup, Aryan Carvalho and Guillermo Aliende each scored at least 15 points for Argentina, but the rest of the team struggled offensively as the South American squad goes home in disappointment.
Angola 59, Greece 51
With a balanced effort that featured four players in double figures, Angola surprised Greece with an impressive eight-point win to capture 11th place.
Silvio de Sousa led the way for Angola with 14 points and 10 rebounds as the squad overcame 20 turnovers with just five assists to escape for the win.
Egypt 68, Japan 53
Ahmed Khalaf was dominant inside for Egypt with 15 points, 19 rebounds and six blocks, giving Japan little chance to get anything going in the paint. This allowed Egypt to build up a 38-20 lead at halftime and the squad held on for a convincing victory.
Although most of the tournament has not gone Egypt's way, this was a solid finish to end the week on a high note.
Day 6 Recap
Italy 77, Angola 71
The Italians took down Angola despite shooting just 39 percent from the field and 32 percent from three-point territory. Angola, on the other hand, shot a blistering 47 percent from downtown.
Angola was hurt by free-throw shooting. In a six-point loss, Angola shot just 54 percent from the charity stripe. That is certainly the main reason why they were unable to oust Italy.
Japan 91, United Arab Emirates 49
Hayato Maki led the Japanese to an emphatic win on Friday, racking up 24 points, four rebounds and an assist. His team shot 51 percent from the floor and 43 percent from deep, compared to 36 and 29 percent, respectively, for United Arab Emirates.
Neither team shot well from the free-throw line. Shockingly, Japan shot just 44 percent. The opposition hit 53 percent.
Canada 92, China 81
Eddie Ekiyor owned the floor for Canada on Friday, dropping 21 points, grabbing nine rebounds, blocking a shot and recording two steals in the action. The Chinese team had nobody to stop him when he had the ball, and there was nothing they could do to deny him on defense.
Canada was wildly efficient from the floor, shooting 60 percent. A mark of 29 percent from deep is concerning, but it was still enough to defeat China by 11.
Egypt 92, Philippines 67
The Philippines couldn't get past Egypt, and that's because Egyptian big man Ahmed Khalaf served as an impenetrable wall on defense. He grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked four shots to go along with his 19 points and two assists on offense.
Michael Nieto did drop 20 points for the Philippines, but it was far from enough.
Puerto Rico 70, France 63
It was a battle of stat lines in Puerto Rico versus France. The Puerto Ricans won largely because of the efforts of Arnaldo Toro, who scored 21 points and grabbed 18 boards in the process.
France countered with Stephane Gombauld. He netted 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, but it was not enough to compete with Toro and Puerto Rico.
Argentina 65, Greece 54
Maximo Fjellerup recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds for Argentina, and that was enough to propel his team to victory. Greece's Vasilis Charalampopoulos scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds, but he was the lone bright spot for the team.
They shot 35 percent from the floor and 21 percent from deep.
USA 89, Serbia 68
USA advanced to the finals of the tournament with a decisive win over Serbia. Harry Giles had 10 points and 12 boards to lead the way for the red, white and blue.
The United States shot 41 percent from the floor. While not as efficient as they'd like to be, it was good enough to get by Serbia and into the final.
Australia 80, Spain 74
Spain was favored in this matchup, but Australia was able to take down the Spaniards and clinch a berth in the finals against USA.
It took overtime to decide the winner, as the game was knotted at 67 when the final buzzer of the fourth quarter sounded. The Australian defense held Spain to just 31 points in the second half and overtime.
Day 5 Recap
Italy 83, Japan 56
The quarterfinals of the FIBA U-17 World Championships was a dominating win by Italy. The Italians were led by a balanced scoring attack with four players scoring in double-figures, highlighted by Andrea La Torre's 17 points on 6-for-7 shooting with six rebounds and four assists.
Just as impressive was Italy's defense, which held Japan to 31.8 percent shooting from inside the three-point range and had 13 more defensive rebounds.
Angola 89, United Arab Emirates 47
After a blowout loss against Canada, Angola got back on track with a 42-point victory over United Arab Emirates. The Angolan squad got one of the best all-around performances of the day from any team with Silvio De Sousa having 18 points, eight steals and six rebounds.
The lone weak spot for Angola was at the free-throw line, where the team shot a paltry 29 percent (5-for-17). The offensive glass was kind to Angola, as it grabbed 23 in the game.
USA 113, China 71
Team USA continues to roll through this event with a 42-point win against China on Thursday. Diamond Stone led the way for the American squad with 17 points, eight rebounds, five blocks and two assists.
Henry Ellenson also contributed a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds in just over 15 minutes. Three other players had more than 10 points in the win for America.
On the other side, Hao Fu had a good day for China with 16 points and seven rebounds. He did have six turnovers, mitigating his offensive contributions a bit.
Argentina 84, Philippines 71
In the loser's bracket, Argentina was able to shake off a close loss against Spain on Tuesday with an impressive victory over the Philippines to keep its hopes for a consolation prize alive.
This wasn't one of the prettier games of the event with both teams shooting under 35 percent from the floor. The difference ended up being Argentina's ability to draw fouls, as it wound up taking 13 more free throws and making nine more than the Philippines.
Agustin Mas Delfino led the way for Argentina with 20 points, while Lucie Delfino and Ignacio Jvier Onetto tied for the team lead with eight rebounds.
Serbia 71, Canada 64
Serbia's trek through the U-17 World Championships continues following a hard-fought victory over Canada. Vanja Gusa's team played an efficient game. It wasn't one for the highlight reel, but all that matters is the win.
They did shoot 47 percent from two-point range with Vojislav Stojanovic hitting on four of his seven attempts inside the arc and grabbed seven rebounds for good measure.
Canada, on the other hand, was a one-man show. Jamal Murray scored 24 points in the loss, being the only Canadian player to score in double-figures. He also had eight rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Greece 67, Egypt 50
An efficient performance from Giorgios Papagiannis and outstanding free-throw shooting led Greece to a victory over Egypt in the loser's bracket.
Papagiannis had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, chipping in four blocks and one assist for the Greeks. The team also hit 10 of its 11 free-throw attempts in the victory.
Egypt looked like the better team in some respects, getting to the free-throw line 28 times and shooting 40 percent from inside the arc. However, when you only make 50 percent of your free throws and go 0-for-13 from three-point range, it's hard to win a lot of games.
Australia 76, Puerto Rico 52
Australia put forth one of the best team efforts from anyone playing on Thursday, shooting just under 46 percent from the floor, hitting 13 out of 14 free-throw attempts and grabbing 51 rebounds in a 24-point win over Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico couldn't do anything beyond the arc, shooting 2-for-22 from distance. Making matters worse is Jorge Pacheco, David Moya and Nick Berry combined to score zero points on 0-for-10 shooting.
Spain 71, France 67
It's fitting that the final game of the day wound up being the most competitive, with Spain edging out France by four points. France mounted a big comeback in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Spanish club 20-13 before falling just short of a victory to advance to the semifinals.
France shot the lights out from two-point range, connecting on 57 percent of their attempts. but shooting 1-for-13 from three-point range left the team in a lurch when it had to score a lot of points in a short amount of time.
Another difference in the game was free-throw shooting. Spain hit on 20 of its 24 attempts, while France struggled with just 14 makes on 24 attempts.
Day 4 Recap
USA 122, Japan 38
The Americans continued their domination in Dubai with an 84-point blowout of Japan on Tuesday. Stone continued to be a double-double machine.
He came into the game averaging 14 points and 11 rebounds per game, and that's exactly what he compiled against Japan. Stone leads Team USA in both categories and is clearly the best prospect in the tournament.
The US will face China in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
Canada 106, Angola 59
Behind 23 points and seven rebounds from Koby McEwan, the Canadians trounced Angola by 47 points. Shooting was clearly the difference in this game. Angola was simply horrible shooting the ball in every capacity.
The team made just 44 percent of its free throws, 22 percent of its threes and 29 percent of its shots from the field overall. It's hard to win when you shoot it that poorly.
France 86, Philippines 57
In another lopsided contest, France handed the Philippines a 29-point defeat. As usual, the undersized Filipino squad was pounded on the glass. The team was out-rebounded 60-33 in the contest.
As a matter of fact, Stephane Gombauld (20) and Amine Noua (12) nearly equaled the entire rebound total of the Philippines by themselves.
Noua added 21 points to pace France.
China 79, Italy 67
China is clearly one of the strongest teams in Dubai. Led by Yanhao Zhao's 32 points, six rebounds and five steals, the Chinese pulled out a tough win over a talented Italian team.
Jinqiu Hu was a beast in the paint with 19 points and 17 rebounds, but it was China's lights-out shooting from three-point range that gave it the edge.
The Chinese made 50 percent of their attempts from long range compared to zero on 0-for-11 shooting by Italy. China may be able to give the United States one of its toughest games of the tournament.
Puerto Rico 86, Egypt 79 OT
Ivan Gandia's 29 points and six rebounds powered the Puerto Rican squad passed Egypt in a nip-and-tuck affair that went into overtime.
The Egyptians used a stat-sheet stuffing performance from Mohamed Mohamed (7 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists and 5 steals) to come back from a 12-point halftime deficit and force the extra session.
But Puerto Rico outscored Egypt 15-8 in overtime to earn a spot in Thursday's semifinals against Australia.
Serbia 116, United Arab Emirates 31
This was absolutely no contest from the beginning. The UAE squad had to endure another humbling defeat on Tuesday. The squad has lost all four games it has played in Dubai, and by an average of 85.5 points.
Nikola Popovic had 26 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, four steals and five blocks for the Serbians.
Serbia figures to have a tougher game against Canada in the semifinals.
Australia 84, Greece 76
Despite a strong fourth-quarter from Greece, the Aussies held on for the eight-point win. Isaac Humphries was a load on the block with 20 points and 16 rebounds.
He is the third leading scorer in the tournament. The 6'11" 16-year-old figures to be on pro scouts radars over the next three years.
He has some undeniable skills close to the basket. Seeing him match up against Stone might be a treat.
If the Aussies can beat Puerto Rico and advanced deeper into the tournament, we might get a chance to see that matchup.
Spain 64, Argentina 57
In a defensive struggle, it was Spain's ability to lock down tighter on the Argentinians that proved to be the difference.
After holding an early six-point lead Argentina shot just 33 percent from the field and only got to the line 16 times. Led by Santiago Yusta's 18 points and six rebounds, the Spaniards inch away in the second quarter by outscoring their opponents 13-8.
In the second half, Spain locked down the middle and limited Argentina's second-chance opportunities.
Spain will face France on Thursday in the semifinals.
Day 3 Highlights
France 96, Japan 51
Japan has been one of the worst teams in this tournament, and France took advantage of that when they won on Monday 96-51. Gauthier Denis led the scoring for France with 24 points, but the highest scorer in this matchup was Japan’s Rui Hachimura with 27 points and eight rebounds.
France is a solid team that could do damage in the tournament, but the biggest lesson from this matchup is that Hachimura is an elite prospect for Japan.
China 84, Egypt 58
While Egypt should be proud of the defensive and offensive work from Mohamed Bakr (six points, five rebounds and one block), it was China that stole the show Monday and brought home the 84-58 victory. The biggest winner from Day 3 was Chinese big man Jinqiu Hu. The center scored 18 points, 16 rebounds, two steals, two blocks and an assist. Hu proved that he is one of the top international players in the FIBA event.
Canada 85, Australia 74
Canada may have beaten Australia in this matchup, but the real star of the game is Australian center Isaac Humphries. In a losing effort, Humphries scored a tournament record 41 points and added 19 rebounds and five blocks. Jamal Murray scored 25 points and added seven rebounds to help Canada get the victory, but it was a shame Humphries offensive and defensive dominance was wasted in a loss.
USA 124, Philippines 64
Team USA was expected to come into this tournament and be a top contender, and the American players have not failed to live up to the expectations, defeating the Philippines on Monday, 124-64. Led by the all-around talent of Josh Jackson (16 points, 11 rebounds and five assists), Team USA had six players reach double-figure points. Add in the 21 team assists and America looks to be rolling right now. Group A and the entire tournament have been put on notice.
Day 2 Recap
Argentina Defeats China 75-70
Argentina earned a big victory on Saturday to move to 2-0 in Group D; however, China was its own worst enemy over the duration of the contest.
After a nice start, the Chinese led the Argentinians 20-14 through one quarter, with much of the team's success stemming from the shooting prowess of Yanhao Zhao. Unfortunately, some errant shots led to a treacherous eight-point third quarter, inevitably dooming the team.
In an unusual twist, China shot better from behind the arc than it did from the interior, hitting 44.4 percent of its shots from downtown but just 27.3 percent from inside.
Meanwhile, Guillermo Aliende and Co. took advantage, shooting 42.0 percent from the floor while outscoring China 38-20 in the paint. Aliende connected on 16 points, but only collected three boards, as China outrebounded Argentina 48-37.
Still, China's struggles inside proved far too much to overcome against a talented Argentinian team.
China will face Egypt on Monday in a battle of winless teams, while Argentina will attempt to win its third straight against undefeated Serbia.
Spain Defeats UAE 138-27
Saturday marked another difficult contest for the United Arab Emirates. The young team has the daunting task of competing in a very tough Group C filled with some of the tournament's most elite talent.
Oscar Amo led the way for Spain, scoring a game-high 23 points and adding 12 rebounds for one of his team's two double-double performances. As a team, the Spaniards were on point, connecting on 61.1 percent of their shots from the floor.
Saif Al Mehairi came away with three points and three boards for the United Arab Emirates, as his team was outrebounded 67-19 against a Spanish team featuring a huge height advantage.
Spain now moves on to face Italy in its final Group C matchup, while the United Arab Emirates will square off against undefeated Puerto Rico.
Greece Defeats Philippines 85-65
After a loss to the United States in its first game, Greece was able to right the ship in a big way on Saturday against the Philippines, winning by a total of 20 points.
Antonis Pefanis was on point throughout the matchup, recording 26 points, four rebounds, two assists and one steal while shooting an impressive 58.8 percent from the floor.
After three tremendously sluggish quarters, Jolo Mendoza helped the Philippines to score 32 points in the game's final quarter to finish the contest in respectable fashion. Mendoza compiled 19 points and five rebounds against Greece on Saturday.
This marks the second consecutive loss for the Philippines, but breathes a bit of life into Greece in a very competitive Group A.
Serbia Defeats Egypt 81-63
Serbia took control of the paint to take down Egypt on Saturday.
Thanks to a 13-rebound performance from David Miladinovic, Serbia compiled 56 boards compared to Egypt's 28. This total helped Serbia on the offensive end, as the team bucketed 19 second-chance points while allowing just nine to its opponent.
Continuing that trend, Serbia accumulated 44 points in the paint and only yielded 28 points inside to Egypt.
Depth was clearly on display as well, as Serbia generated 34 points from the bench while Egypt compiled 19.
The win moves Serbia to 2-0 for the tournament and sets the team up for an important clash with the undefeated Argentinians on Monday.
Australia Defeats France 84-81
This one came right down to the wire, as France missed a game-tying three-pointer as time expired to drop to 1-1 for the tournament. The impressive win by the Australians improves the team to 2-0 and in command of Group B.
Dejan Vasiljevic scored a team-high 18 points for the Aussies, but the all-around solid play of Matthew Owies helped propel the team to victory. Owies scored nine points, brought in six boards and added four assists and three blocks to his totals.
It was a two-man show for France, as a lack of depth looked to be the team's most troubling problem.
Stephane Gombauld and Amine Noua combined to score 44 of the team's 81 points on Saturday, but the duo simply wasn't enough to take down the Australians.
United States Defeats Angola 99-56
The Americans began their tournament earning an impressive win against a very good Greek team, and they continued to show a dominant display of basketball against Angola on Saturday.
It only took the United States one quarter to establish itself as the better team, outscoring Angola 27-8 in the first. The team didn't look back.
Harry Giles led the way for the Americans, dropping 14 points and adding four rebounds, six steals and one block.
Scott Phillips of Pro Basketball Talk tweeted Team USA's notables:
The American team was on point from all over the court, shooting 45.6 percent from the floor and 42.9 percent from downtown. Strong in the paint as well, the United States pulled down 54 boards compared to Angola's 46.
Angola did see some fine production, as four of its players scored double-digit points against the Americans. Bruno Fernando earned a game-high 17 points and tacked on 13 rebounds for the game's only double-double.
The United States will now attempt to complete its sweep of Group A, as it prepares to face the Philippines on Monday.
Puerto Rico Defeats Italy 58-51
Italy put up a monstrous amount of points in its first contest; however, against a defensively sound Puerto Rican team, it faltered.
The Italians received some nice production from Leonardo Tote against Puerto Rico, as he accumulated 16 points, four rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal on the day. Although, he was one of just two players to score double-digit points for Italy.
The game's difference-maker was Puerto Rico's Arnaldo Toro. He put up a fantastic double-double, knocking down 6-of-13 attempts from the floor for 20 points, and adding 14 rebounds.
Puerto Rico's dominance in the paint led to a victory here. It outrebounded Italy 48-39 and netted 17 second-chance points while allowing just nine to its opponent.
Canada Defeats Japan 96-52
The Canadian team rebounded after a sluggish start to defeat Japan on Saturday and move to 1-1 in Group B.
After Japan took a 19-14 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Canadians poured it on, scoring 32, 28 and 22 points in the following three quarters to gain the lopsided victory.
Jerome Desrosiers led the way for Canada, scoring a game-high 20 points and accumulating six boards. The team received help from all areas of the court, combining to shoot 51.4 percent from the floor.
Japan couldn't muster enough open looks to compete, hitting just 23.1 percent of its buckets on the day and struggling to keep pace in the paint, pulling in 38 rebounds to Canada's 62.
Day 1 Recap
Australia Defeats Japan 97-84
The Aussies jumped out to a 13-point lead after the first quarter, but Japan came storming back to force overtime.
Rui Hachimura knocked down a three-pointer with just four seconds remaining to tie the game. He lead his team with 22 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots.
Australia missed two opportunities to win it in regulation and had to finish the job in overtime.
In the extra period, it was all Australia. After abandoning the strategy in favor of ill-advised long-range shots, the team began to pound the ball inside again to take advantage of its huge height advantage.
Japan doesn't have a player taller than 6'6", thus Australia's 6'10" Isaac Humphries had his way in the paint.
Australia outscored Japan 20-7 in overtime to come away with the win. Here's a look at the final 30 minutes of action.
The most consistent player on the winning side was point guard Dejan Vasiljevic. The 6'2" guard had 23 points, including three made baskets from deep. He also pulled down 11 rebounds.
Vasilijevic is considered one of Australia's top prospects in the Class of 2016 by Ausa Hoops. If he can continue to play well throughout the tournament, he'll grab the attention of college recruiters and pro scouts.
Australia will face France on Saturday and Japan will try to grab its first win against a tough Canadian squad.
Puerto Rico Defeats Spain 67-65
On the strength of an 11-5 run in the final 2:27 of the game, Puerto Rico downed Spain in one of the closest games of the first day of pool play.
Leandro Allende led the Puerto Ricans in scoring with 16 points and he was instrumental in the late run that clinched the game. His ability to get to the free-throw line and convert on his opportunities were huge.
Allende was 3-for-3 on the line and those chances came while the game was hanging in the balance. Puerto Rico also got a double-double from Arnaldo Toro. The 6'9" power forward had 13 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks.
He was clearly the most effective inside presence for either team. Spain was led by Xabier Lopez-Arosteguj and Santiago Yusta who both had 15 points in defeat. Here's a look at the entire game:
Toro is already on pro scout's radar and he doesn't turn 17 until October. He has a profile already constructed on NBADraft.net. The junior at St. Benedict's high school in Newark, New Jersey has a versatile, inside-outside game.
When he spoke to Adam Zagoria of Zag's Blog last year, he talked about carving a niche for himself heading into college.
He said: “Now I’m a four or five, I’m trying to work on [becoming] a three. Try to get in college as a three.”
Seeing as though he made both of his attempts from downtown against Spain, he looks to have the requisite shooting range. Ball handling and lateral movement for defense are the other pieces to the puzzle.
Toro and Puerto Rico will take aim at Italy on Saturday; while Spain will try to bounce back against the United Arab Emirates.
Angola Defeats Philippines 82-72
The Angolans could be the stiffest test for Team USA in Group A. On Friday, they obliterated the Philippines on the boards by a count of 70-46 and that led to their victory.
Here's a look at the entire game.
Joao Jungo was the game's star with 26 points and 11 rebounds.
Granted, the Filipinos tallest player is only 6'3", Angola still deserves credit for attacking its opponent's weakness with vigor. The Philippines are due kudos for keeping the game within 10 points considering their height disadvantage.
Jungo was one of three Angolan players who finished with a double-double. Jolo Mendoza led the Filipino squad with 16 points.
Despite the Angolans' win on Friday, Team USA likely has nothing to fear.
The Americans have the size necessary to match up, and Angola was dreadful from long range against the Philippines. It made just 10-of-39 attempts. Without the major size advantage, it probably wouldn't have prevailed.
According to Jungo's profile on Afro Basket, he is listed as a player with top-notch potential. The 16-year-old will need to show that he can continue to put up big numbers when he plays against players who can match up with him physically.
He's sure to get that test on Saturday when Angola faces Team USA. The scrappy Philippines squad will take on Greece.
Serbia Defeats China 80-68
Behind a strong first and fourth quarter, Serbia handed China a 12-point loss. You can watch the entire game here.
Despite a strong performance from Hao Fu, China was done in by poor shooting; specifically, its outside marksmanship failed them. The team made just one-of-10 shots from long range, and shot 38.7 percent from the field overall.
The Serbians featured a balanced attack. Four players scored in double figures, but Nikola Rakicevic shined brightest with 17 points, seven rebounds and three made baskets from beyond the arc.
With its balance, size and versatility, Serbia looks like one of the strongest teams in Dubai.
In defeat, Hao had an excellent all-around game with 19 points, eight rebounds, five assists and a blocked shot. He wasn't heavy on draft prognosticator's radar coming in, but his performance on Friday might open a few eyes.
Serbia will try to move to 2-0 when it faces Egypt on Saturday, and China gets Argentina in its next game.
France Defeats Canada 76-66
One of Friday's most dominant individual performances belonged to France's Stephane Gombauld. The 6'7" power forward exploded with a 28-point, 20-rebound game to lead a strong second-half performance for the French.
Here's a look at the entire game:
After trailing by 12 points at the half, France came storming back to outscore the Canadians 46-24 in the second half.
Gombauld looked like a man among boys. He was the only player on either team to manage double-figure rebounds in the game. While he does appear to be a bit of a tweener, Draft Express is already lauding his athleticism, length and enormous hands.
He'll be fun to watch during this tournament.
Next up for France will be Australia, and Canada will face Japan.
Italy Defeats UAE 121-32
You'll be hard pressed to find a more decisive win than this one. The Italians used a 61-27 edge on the boards to walk away with a whopping 89-point victory.
UAE made just 19 percent of its shots compared to 57.6-percent shooting by the Italians.
Italy had six players in double figure scoring, but were led by Leonardo Tote's 22 points. UAE is another squad dogged by a lack of size. Its tallest player is 6'5" and Italy took advantage.
UAE's only hope was to shoot lights out from beyond the arc, but that obviously didn't happen. The team made just 30 percent of its threes. Mohammad Juma scored more than half his team's points as he finished with 17.
Argentina Defeats Egypt 74-39
The second lopsided win of the day came from Argentina. The 35-point blowout seemed tame when compared to the loss UAE suffered earlier in Dubai.
Maximo Fjellerup filled it up on Friday. He drained four three-pointers and scored 22 points to lead Argentina. The first and third quarters told the story. In those two frames, Argentina outscored Egypt 50-18.
The Egyptians could never find a consistent offensive force, as not one of their players reached double figures in scoring. Things won't get any easier for Egypt on Saturday.
It plays Serbia, while Argentina takes on China.
United States Defeats Greece 83-73
Team USA won, but they never ran away from Greece. After a strong first quarter from the Americans, Greece played them tight the rest of the way through.
Here's a look at the entire game.
As expected, Stone was too much for Greece on the low block. He finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots.
Stone shot 10-for-13 from the field as Greece had no answer for his wide body and soft touch around the rim. Giorgio Papagiannis gave a great effort for Greence.
He finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Though he couldn't match Stone, he did a good job of giving Greece a productive inside presence. That's what helped to keep the game close throughout.
Team USA takes on Angola next, and Greece will battle the Philippines.
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