Doha, 20 June 2022 - Australia claim their second consecutive FIBA U16 Asian Championship after beating Japan, 94-63, in the Final.
The title is Australia's second in as many appearances. Moreover, the win stretches the Crocs undefeated run in the competition to 10 straight games.
In the championship game, Australia continued to play spectacular basketball on both ends of the floor. They shot 54.2 percent from the field, out-rebounded Japan 56-26, and held the opposition to 34.8 percent shooting.
All of the Crocs got on the scoreboard to the celebration of the fans with just under 5 minutes left in the game as Carlin Briggs knocked down a free throw. Leading the way was Roman Siulepa who had 18 points and 9 rebounds, while James O'Donnell also added 11 points and 12 rebounds to his name.
Japan did not go down without putting up a fight, however. Australia built up a lead of as much as 12 in the first half, but Japan came out of the half-time break determined to get back in the game. After going on a 10-3 run, Japan had cut down the lead to just two points at 44-42.
The led to a timeout called by coach Justin Schueller to get things back on track for the Crocs. Coming out of that timeout midway through the third quarter, Australia went on a 21-5 run to close the third quarter and blew open the gap for good until the final buzzer.
Yuto Kawashima shouldered the bulk of the offense for Japan as expected, putting up 23 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 steals before fouling out of the game.
Meanwhile, New Zealand beat Lebanon, 89-62, for their second straight third-place finish.
After losing the first basket to Lebanon to start the game, New Zealand went off an 11-0 run in the first quarter and never looked back.
The lead grew to as much as 30 points for the Junior Tall Blacks before a late rally by Lebanon cut the deficit down to 17 points at the final buzzer.
Nic Book completes an impressive run through the U16 Asian Championship with 17 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 three-pointers. New Zealand had 5 other players score in double-digits in William Passi, Julius Halaifonua, Dante Matakatea, Phoenix Trego, and George Turner.
Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and Lebanon will all be playing at the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup in Malaga, Spain from 2-10 July.