SAPPHIRES QUALIFY FOR 2018 FIBA UNDER-17 WORLD CUP

SAPPHIRES QUALIFY FOR 2018 FIBA UNDER-17 WORLD CUP

The Australian Sapphires have booked a spot at the 2018 FIBA Under-17 World Cup following a Quarter-Final victory over Hong Kong, 123-29.

The Sapphires maintained their winning streak at the FIBA Under-16 Asian Championships, never giving Hong Kong a chance after leading by 31 points at quarter-time.

Undersized, Hong Kong struggled to get into the paint and did not make a two-pointer for the first half but their three-point shooting meant they were able to keep the scoreboard ticking to keep the margin to 47 at the main break.

The Sapphires completely owned the glass though, quadrupling their opposition's rebound numbers overall and the second half followed the same script as the first with all 12 Australian players getting some proper court time.

When Eliza Hollingsworth (eight points, two steals) dropped in her first points, she also ensured every player had hit the scoreboard with six of her team mates finishing in double-figures.

Georgia Amoore paced them with 21 points on 10-12 shooting, Jade Melbourne recorded 16 points, seven rebounds, seven assists while Shyla Heal (13 points, ten rebounds) and Kelsey Rees (ten points, 12 boards) each collected double-doubles.

Ashlee Hannah (11 points, seven rebounds) and Olivia Pollerd (six points, ten rebounds- nine offensive) also dominated the boards while Isabel Palmer and Last-Tear Poa showed off their defensive prowess with three blocks together in addition to 18 points and nine assists combined.

Watch the replay below and find the box score here.

With their spot in the Under-17 FIBA World Cup now secured, the Sapphires can focus on the gold medal at the Under-16 Asian Championships with their Semi-Final opponent tomorrow to be the winner of China/Korea.

The Australian Sapphires Schedule for the 2017 FIBA Under-16 Women’s Asia Championships (all times AEDT):

October 27: Semi-Finals
October 28: Bronze and Gold Medals

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