The New Zealand U18 Womens 3X3 basketball team has powered through pool play unbeaten at the FIBA World Championships in Kazakhstan, winning their final two games against Turkey and Spain overnight to secure top seeding and an easier cross over game in the quarter finals.
Head Coach Anthony Corban described a stellar day for the team against quality opposition, with Turkey seeded 4 and Spain 5 in the tournament.
"We jumped on Turkey early and built a strong lead and from there maintained our scoring margin in a dominant performance built on the all-round strength of the team. This was the initial goal today, to secure this first up win to guarantee quarter final action and the girls stepped up to the mark.
"Our second game was all about securing top seeding and not slacking off, a challenge that was laid down to the team before the game and they delivered an outstanding performance. Despite being considerably outsized we out hustled and eventually overpowered another quality team led by a superb offensive performance from Kendall Heremaia and some brilliant one-on-one defence."
Corban said the team adjusted to the conditions as well, something that is critical to enjoying success at the tournament with the variables of an outside court to contend with.
"Both performances today were outstanding in testing conditions with the wind gusts today making shooting a difficult proposition. But the girls attacked the rim, showed great speed in doing so and punished the opposition for being slower on both offence and defence."
12th seeded New Zealand has been drawn against 9th seeded Czech Republic in the quarter finals, with the games due to be played on the night of June 5 New Zealand time.
The New Zealand U18 Mens team plays their final two pool games tonight NZT, having won both their opening encounters in impressive fashion.
Pool D, Women
New Zealand 14
New Zealand 16
For further information, results, draws and video links, go to the Basketball New Zealand Facebook Page or visit www.fiba.com and click on 3X3 World Champs.
Video coverage from overnight
NZL v Turkey from 27mins https://youtu.be/jf_xpTC2vbc?t=26m56s
NZL v Spain from 2h 47m https://youtu.be/jf_xpTC2vbc?t=2h47m10s
- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Basketball New Zealand