2014 FIBA U17 World Championships: Day One

The first day of the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championships in Dubai, UAE didn’t really have any surprises, save for how Puerto Rico upset 2013 European U16 champs Spain and how Japan forced overtime against the Aussies.

Day one of the 2014 FIBA U17 World Cup is in the books!


Day One:

PUR 67 – Allende 16, Toro 13, Gandia 11, Cruz 9, Texeira 8, Pacheco 4, Ebube 4, Rivera 2, Moya 0, Torres 0
ESP 65 – Lopez 15, Yusta 15, Garcia 11, Perez 6, Rodriguez 6, Mazaira 6, Vila 4, Sorolla 2, Turbica 0, Young 0, Onwuka 0
QS: 19-12, 35-31, 45-52, 67-65

6’9 Arnaldo Toro asserted himself inside here, registering a 13-point, 12-rebound double-double while also blocking 3 blocked. He thoroughly outplayed his Spanish counterparts, Jaume Sorolla and Ramon Vila, dominating the interior while Ivan Gandia and Leandro Allende took care of the perimeter. Things looked good for Spain after a Samuel Rodriguez three with under 5 minutes left that gave them a 60-56 lead, but then coach Daniel Ortiz’s team unloaded an 11-2 finishing kick that gave Puerto Rico a commanding 67-62 advantage in the dying seconds before a trey by Xabier Lopez pegged the final count. Allende and Gandia paired up for 27 points for the Puerto Ricans while Lopez and Santiago Yusta each tallied 15 markers to pace the Spaniards.

Puerto Rico is in a good mood after pulling the rug from under Spain.

AUSTRALIA over JAPAN, 97-84 (OT)
AUS 97 – Vasiljevic 23, Noi 17, Humphries 16, Wilson 12, Owies 11, Akintola 6, Clark 6, White 4, Hodgson 2, Froling 0
JPN 84 – Hachimura 22, Nomi 20, Maki 10, Hiraiwa 10, Muto 8, Hayashi 2, Taira 0, Igarashi 0, Kono 0, Gunji 0, Nnanna 0
QS: 27-14, 41-31, 60-56, 77-77, 97-84

Coach Mark Watkins probably felt a bit of a shock as Rui Hachimura hit that game-tying three at the end of regulation to send this game to extra time. It was a good thing, then, that Dejan Vasiljevic, Matt Owies, and Isaac Humphries really stepped up in OT as the Aussies outscored Team Hayabusa, 20-7. Vasiljevic, who was born in Canada but now plays for the junior Boomers, was very efficient from long range, hitting 3 of his 4 treys on his way to 23 points while also grabbing 11 rebounds. 6’11 Isaac Humphries, who’s just 16-year old , meanwhile, added 16 markers, 14 boards, and 6 blocks. Japan, on the other hand, was led by Hachimura’s 22 points, 9 rebounds, 4 rejections, and 2 steals. Yuto Nomi also impressed, nailing 4 treys on his way to 20 points.

Isaac Humphries gets bottled up against Japan.

Japanese ace Rui Hachimura shoots over Abiola Akintola.

ANG 82 – Jungo 26, Amandio 17, Miranda 12, Manuel 10, Do 6, Valente 5, De Sousa 4, Fernando 2, Manuel 0
PHL 72 – Mendoza 16, Go 13, Dario 12, Desiderio 9, Nieto Ma 6, Dela Cruz 6, Escoto 4, Nieto Mi 2, Navarro 2, Padilla 2, Panlilio 0, Abadeza 0
QS: 15-12, 41-32, 61-52, 82-72

The Philippines was within striking distance for most of this game before Angola asserted itself down low and erected a 13-point bubble in the second half to deflate any chances of Batang Gilas springing a W. Not surprisingly, Joao Jungo led the way for the Palancas Negras, putting up 26 points on 11/16 FG shooting. The 6’6 swingman just did everything for Angola, also registering 11 rebounds and 3 blocks. Eric Amandio and Valdir Manuel also rebounded in double-digits, collaring 12 and 13 respectively to underscore the Africans’ dominance on the glass. On the other end, coach Jamik Jarin’s boys were led by Jolo Mendoza, who dropped 16 points but shot just 7/26 from the floor. As a team, the Filipinos hit only 5/35 from rainbow country and 29/88 overall.

Manuel Silva tries to settle his boys down against the Philippines.
Eric Amandio spots up against Gilas.

Jolo Mendoza shoots over Eric Amandio.

SERBIA over CHINA, 80-68
SRB 80 – Rakicevic 17, Stojanovic 15, Peno 14, Miladinovic 12, Kenic 6, Popovic 5, Marinkovic 5, Bojanic 4, Cirkovic 2, Aranitovic 0
CHN 68 – Fu 19, Hu 13, Zhao 12, Wang Z 9, Wang C 6, Xu 4, Liu 3, He 2, Zhang 0, Fan 0, Miao 0
QS: 23-11, 43-33, 54-53, 80-68

China stuck close to Serbia for three and a half quarters before Team Orlovi unleashed a strong finishing kick to earn its first win of the tournament. Nikola Rakicevic and Stefan Peno came up big for Serbia in the final frame, turning a slim 66-62 edge into a 75-64 advantage with barely a minute left. Rakicevic paced the winners with 17 points on 7/12 FG shooting while ace PG Peno tallied 14 markers, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists. China was led by Fu Hao’s 19 points, while Hu Jinqiu added 13 markes and 12 boards.

China's Hu Jinqiu runs into heavy traffic in the paint.

Serbia's star PG, Stefan Peno, tries to go up strong against China.

FRANCE over CANADA, 76-66
FRA 76 – Gombauld 28, Hergott 15, Noua 12, Ponsar 7, Loubaki 5, Leboeuf 3, Labanere 3, Denis 3, Cortale 0, Jeanne 0, Bengaber 0
CAN 66 – Ekiyor 14, Cummings 14, Fraser 10, Washington 9, Murray 8, McEwan 4, Desrosiers 4, Young 2, Ottey 1, Kaputo 0
QS: 15-25, 30-42, 52-54, 76-66

Without key players Justin Jackson and Nolan Narain in the roster, Canada tried to lean on team captain Jamal Murray to lead the charge here, but the 6’5 two-guard struggled with his shot, missing 10 of his 13 FG attempts. The forward duo of Eddie Ekiyor and Daniel Cummings tries to pick up the slack with 14 markers apiece, but in the end the French proved to be too strong. After Howard Washington, Jr. tied the count at 59-all early in the fourth, France went on a 13-4 spurt to put up some separation between the two countries. France controlled the boards here, outrebounding Canada, 44-35, behind the efforts of 6’8 Stephane Gombauld, who grabbed 20 caroms. Gombauld also paced the French with 28 points, while Lucas Hergott and Amine Noua added 15 and 12 respectively. Murray had only 8 points to show for Team Canada.

Canada's Kalif Young tries the reverse against France.

Stephane Gombauld dunks with power against the Canadians.

ITALY over UAE, 121-32
ITA 121 – Tote 22, Costa 15, Pecchia 15, Moretti 11, Cesana 11, Bucarelli 10, La Torre 8, Bolpin 8, Nwohuocha 8, Vercellino 6, Savoldelli 5, Cattapan 2
UAE 32 – Juma 17, Mohammad 9, Al Mehairi 4, Al Zarooni 2, Saad 0, Al Abdulla 0, Al Farsi 0, Suwaisi 0, Al Ali 0, Al Nuamani 0, Al Maazmi 0, Al Yammahi 0
QS: 32-8, 60-15, 93-25, 121-32

Not much of a game, this one, as the hosts just showed how much of a gap there was between them and the rest of the world. Italy’s top gun, Andrea La Torre, didn’t even play much as the Azzurri just embarrassed UAE. Leonardo Tote led Italy with 22 points while Valerio Costa and Andrea Pecchia each tossed in 15 markers. UAE, meanwhile, was paced by Mohammad Juma, who eerily enough shares almost the same name as the ace youth player of Bahrain (Mohamed Juma). Is there something curious going on here? Hmmm… Anyway, Juma had 17 points to lead the Emirates.

Italy celebrates a very lopsided victory over UAE.

UAE's Mohammad Juma turns the corner against Italy's Lorenzo Bucarelli.

USA over GREECE, 83-73
USA 83 – Stone 22, Newman 13, Tatum 10, Jackson 9, King 6, Ellenson 6, Swanigan 6, Ferguson 4, Giles 4, Battle 3, Ramsey 0
GRE 73 – Charalampopoulos 17, Papaginnis 16, Koniaris 15, Diplaros 9, Flionis 5, Pefanis 5, Mouratos 3, Ntouzidis 2, Mochaloutsos 1, Alifieris 0, Skordas 0, Kamaras 0
QS: 28-19, 45-37, 66-56, 83-73

Team USA knew that it could have its hands full if it let the Greeks stick too close, so they wasted no time in putting some separation in the first quarter before playing keep-away for the remainder of the game. With 5-star forward Ivan Rabb sitting this one out, 6’8 prep star Diamond Stone took over, scoring 22 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, and blocking 4 shots for the Americans. He had to contend with 7’1 Greek giant Georgios Papagiannis, who had a respectable line with 16 markers and 11 boards. While Stone dominated in the paint, team captain Malik Newman, another top college prospect for this year, took care of the wings, combining with Josh Jackson and Jayson Tatum for a total of 32 markers.

American Malik Newman is surely one of the top stars to watch in this tournament.

7'1 Georgios Papagiannis is another guy who should make
a splash in Dubai.

Team USA big man Diamond Stone is a much sought-after
prospect for college hoops.

ARG 74 – Fjellerup 22, Mas Delfino 13, Delfino 13, Riego 8, Carvalho 7, Aliende 4, Fernandez 3, Merchant 2, Galardo 1, Onetto 1, Borsatti 0
EGY 39 – Farag 7, El Safwany 7, Bakr 6, Metwaly 6, El Morsy 4, Khalaf 4, Mohamed 2, Saadelin 2, Safyeldin 1, Hussein 0
QS: 22-10, 28-19, 56-27, 74-39

There was absolutely no doubt which team was better here. Utilizing its advantage in size and athleticism, Argentina dominated Egypt from the get-go. Coach Miguel Santander’s crew outrebounded Egypt, 63-26, and pounded them in the paint, 36-20. Maximo Fjellerup led the South Americans with 22 points on the strength of 4 treys while also grabbing 11 boards, handing out 4 assists, and stealing the ball thrice. Agustin Mas Delfino and Lucio Delfino each tallied 13 markers to backstop Fjellerup. Egypt had nobody scoring in double-figures as Omar Farag and Raouf El Safwany each tossed in 7 markers to lead the way .

Maximo Fjellerup was very impressive in Argentina's W over Egypt.

Lucio Delfino will definitely be one of the most recognizable players for Argentina.

Unless otherwise specified, all images are from FIBA.

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3 Comment

Nice voverage! Best in class!


grabe ang tatangkad prang hinde under17 ah tsaba may negro narin pla ung japan ngayun grabe tlga . . . . . .poiwer house na ang japan nito in 5-7 years


Japan actually has SIX "naturalized" or half-foreigners in its U16 team. Rui Hachimura & Daniel Nnanna are both of African descent. Shogo Taira and Kaito Muto are both half-Brazilians. Gen Hiraiwa and Yuta Kono were both born in China and then "naturalized" as Chinese.