2014 FIBA U17 World Championships: Final Day

Team USA had its toughest test of the tournament, but the Americans buckled down to work and passed with flying colors. In the end, Team USA defended its U17 crown and pocketed a rare FIBA World three-peat at the expense of a very gritty Australian five.

Malik Newman is named the tournament's MVP after leading
Team USA to a rare FIBA World three-peat.


Final Day:

USA over AUSTRALIA, 99-92
Malik Newman led the way for the Americans, totaling 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 assists to win the MVP. As USA Basketball notes, he joins some impressive company in the young history of the tournament (Bradley Beal was 2010 MVP and Jahlil Okafor bagged it in 2012). Interestingly, Newman was the only player on the team to hit a shot from behind the arc, with the rest of the squad combining to go 0-of-7. Still, the 57-31 rebound differential helped the team get tons of second-chance points. Australia's Dejan Vasiljevic had 29 points in the losing effort, while big man Isaac Humphries was limited to just 8 markers and 7 boards.

The Boomers finish second for the second time in a row.
Team USA celebrates after beating Australia in the Final.

From left to right: Diamond Stone (USA), Dejan Vasiljevic (AUS), Malik Newman (USA),
Nikol Rakicevic (SRB), and Isaac Humphries (AUS) make up the tournament's All-Star Five.

SERBIA over SPAIN, 62-59
In a back-and-forth game, Serbia got the last laugh when Spain's Sergio Garcia missed a three-point shot in the closing seconds. Serbia was able to hold on for the three-point lead and secure a third-place finish in this tournament. Ramon Vila managed 20 points and 10 rebounds for Spain, but it was not enough to overcome Nikola Rakicevic, Vanja Marinkovic, and the rest of the Serbian squad. Rakicevic dropped 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals,while Marinkovic had 14 markers on 3/5 shooting from long distance.

Serbia celebrates its highest-ever finish in the biennial event.

PHILIPPINES over UAE, 115-51
Batang Gilas ended its nearly winless campaign on a bright note, outclassing host country UAE to finish in 15th place. Five players finished in double-figures for the Philippines, led by 25 points from Paul Desiderio. Mike Nieto and Mike Dela Cruz each scored 15 in support. Of course, the defense was the story as UAE finished with zero assists and 33 turnovers in a losing effort. The host nation will have to settle for last place in the tournament after a rough week.

Ivan Gandia hit the game-winning basket to break a 63-63 tie in the closing seconds and help Puerto Rico win one of the closest battles of the tournament. Canada held an eight-point lead at halftime, but the squad could not hold on thanks to great guard play by Puerto Rico. Gandia finished with 14 points and 3 assists with Leandro Allende adding 16 points as the squad was able to secure a respectable fifth place. Jamal Murray paced Canada with 17 markers, 5 boards, and 2 assists.

CHINA over FRANCE, 87-79
There were some great individual efforts on display in the battle for seventh place. Hu Jinqiu, Zhao Yanhao, and Fu Hao combined to score 71 points for China as France could not contain the trio anywhere on the court. Amine Noua managed 32 points and 9 rebounds in the losing effort, although he did not receive much help in the disappointing loss.

Italy used some great three-point shooting to stay ahead of Argentina in its final game of the tournament. The squad went 8-of-18 from beyond the arc and consistently got to the free-throw line to go ahead and earn ninth place. Maximo Fjellerup, Aryan Carvalho, and Guillermo Aliende each scored at least 15 points for Argentina, but the rest of the team struggled offensively as the South American squad goes home in disappointment. The Azzurri, meanwhile, were led by Leonardo Tote’s 11 points and 6 boards.

ANGOLA over GREECE, 59-51
With a balanced effort that featured four players in double figures, Angola surprised Greece with an impressive eight-point win to capture 11th place. Silvio de Sousa led the way for Angola with 14 points and 10 rebounds as the squad overcame the fact it committed 20 turnovers. Antonis Pefanis and Vasilis Mouratos paced Team Hellas with 11 points apiece, while Georgios Papagiannis tossed in 10 markers.

EGYPT over JAPAN, 68-53
Ahmed Khalaf was dominant inside for Egypt with 15 points, 19 rebounds, and 6 blocks, giving Japan little chance to get anything going in the paint. This allowed Egypt to build up a 38-20 lead at halftime and the squad held on for a convincing victory. Although most of the tournament has not gone Egypt's way, this was a solid finish to end the week on a high note. Yuto Nomi was the most efficient Japanese with 11 points, 3 assists, and 2 boards.

Recaps were adapted from Bleacher Report.

Images are from FIBA.

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