SAPPHIRES SHINE WITH VICTORY OVER CHINESE TAIPEI AT U16 ASIA CHAMPS

SAPPHIRES SHINE WITH VICTORY OVER CHINESE TAIPEI AT U16 ASIA CHAMPS

The Australian Sapphires have secured a second straight win at the FIBA Under-16 Asian Championships, defeating Chinese Taipei 88-60.

Following a scrappy performance against New Zealand, the Sapphires shot out of the blocks with a 15-0 run to start the game and from there, they were never headed.

Australia utilised their running game for some easy points in transition while Agnes Emma-Nnopu muscled her way inside but Chinese Taipei settled late in the first term to cut the margin back to nine at the first break.

Last-Tear Poa (15 points, two steals) and Georgia Amoore (18 points, three assists, seven steals) knocked down three-pointers to keep the scoreboard ticking over for the Sapphires, aided by Jade Melbourne who finished with five assists.

Shyla Heal's work in transition then saw her tally two steals while also notching seven points to maintain a double-digit lead for the Sapphires into the main break.

Amoore also got to work at both ends of the floor while Isabel Palmer (15 points) hit double-figures for the second straight game, slicing through the defence to get to the hole with some silky moves.

Heal (11 points, four steals) then showed off her hops, rising for the rejection before adding another basket and Emma-Nnopu (11 points, 12 rebounds, three steals, two blocks) recorded a double-double to give Australia their biggest lead of the game heading into the final change.

Every Sapphire available was able to receive some important court time from coach Shannon Seebohm down the stretch while Kelsey Rees (two points, five boards) and Olivia Pollerd (two points, three blocks) made sure every Aussie hit the scoreboard in a complete performance.

Sitting on top of Pool A, Australia now take on Korea tomorrow to cement that top spot before they most likely take on Hong Kong in the Quarter-Finals.

Watch the replay of their clash with Chinese Taipei below and find the box score here.

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

October 24: Australia vs. Korea at 4.30pm
October 26: Quarter-Finals
October 27: Semi-Finals
October 28: Bronze and Gold Medals

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