2014 FIBA U17 World Championships: Day Six

Let’s do it all over again! Australia put together a magical comeback to beat Spain in overtime and will square off against the United States in Saturday's Final of the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship after the two-time reigning undefeated champions were given a real fight against Serbia before prevailing.

The Aussies and Americans battled in the 2012 FIBA U17 Worlds final with the USA winning 95-62 for a second crown.

Top: Team USA celebrates after defeating Serbia.
Bottom: Australia mounts a late rally to pull the rug from under Spain.


Day Six:

Tom Wilson had two lay-ups after steals in the final 35 seconds as the Aussies scored the final eight points in the last two minutes of regulation to force the extra session. Isaac Humphries led the way again for Australia with 22 points, 8 rebounds, 5 blocks, 2 assists and 2 steals. Wilson had 13 points and 11 rebounds, while Dejan Vasiljevic scored 14 points and Harry Frohling had a dozen. Spain committed seven of its 12 turnovers in the final seven minutes of the game and will face off against Serbia in the Third-Place game, which will be a repeat of the 2013 U16 European Championship Final that Spain won in overtime. Jaume Sorolla had 15 points to lead Spain.

USA over SERBIA, 89-68
The USA took advantage of its depth to wear down Serbia and reach the Final, moving within a win away of their third straight title. The final score was not indicative of how hard the two-time undefeated reigning champs had to work to get the victory. Four Americans scored in double-figures, led by 15 points from Malik Newman while Harry Giles collected 10 points and 12 rebounds for the USA. Nikola Rakicevic paced the Serbs with 19 points while Stefan Peno had 18 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds and Vojislav Stojanovic also had 18. The Americans led by just 3 at the half, but their depth began to show in the third quarter as Serbia got worn down, making just 5 of 19 shots in the period.

Puerto Rico overhauled a small halftime deficit to beat France and move on to the battle for fifth place. Arnaldo Toro outplayed Stephane Gombauld in the battle of the bigs. Toro tallied 21 points, 18 rebounds, 1 steal, and a block to lead the Puerto Ricans to their fifth win in six games. Gombauld dropped 17 markers and 11 boards as France was relegated to the battle for seventh spot.

CANADA over CHINA, 92-81
China was within striking distance of Canada for much of this game, but the latter just proved to be too strong. Eddie Ekiyor anchored Canada’s interior with 21 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 steals, while Marquell Fraser added 18 markers, 6 boards, and 4 thefts. China, meanwhile, was paced by the 25 points of Zhao Yanhao, while Hu Jinqiu and Fu Hao paired up for 34 points and 14 caroms.

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 7 rebounds, but he was the lone bright spot for the team. They shot just 35 percent from the floor and 21 percent from deep.

ITALY over ANGOLA, 77-71
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, making just 54 percent from the charity stripe in the 6-point loss. Andrea Pecchia had 16 points, 8 rebounds, 5 steals, and 3 assists for the Azzurri, while Silvio De Sousa paced Angola with 17 markers, 10 boards, and 2 dimes.

In its second game without star guard Jolo Mendoza, the Philippines couldn't get past Egypt. Egyptian big man Ahmed Khalaf served as an impenetrable wall on defense, grabbing 13 rebounds and blocking 4 shots to go along with his 19 points and assists. Undersized frontliner Mike Nieto did drop 20 points for the Philippines, but it was not nearly enough. Batang Gilas is now relegated to fighting for 15th place against host team, UAE.

JAPAN over UAE, 91-49
Hayato Maki led the Japanese to an emphatic win, racking up 24 points, 4 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 the Emirates. Neither team shot well from the free-throw line, though. Shockingly, Japan shot just 44 percent, while the opposition hit 53 percent. Rashed Mohammad paced the home squad with 16 markers, 5 boards, and 3 swipes in the loss. Kengo Muto also had a great outing for Team Hayabusa, stroking in 5 treys on his way to 17 points.

Recaps were adapted from Bleacher Report.

Images are from FIBA.

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