#FIBAU18Asia 2018 Day 5 Recap: New Zealand, Philippines, Australia, and China qualify to U19 World Cup!

The Filipinos survived a very game Bahrain to move on to the Semi-Finals and the U19 World Cup.

Only four remain standing at the end of Day 5 at the 2018 FIBA U18 Asia Championship in Nonthaburi, Thailand, and these same four teams -- New Zealand, Philippines, Australia, and China -- will rep FIBA Asia at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup.

NEW ZEALAND over IRAN, 87-72

All game long, Iran had trouble with New Zealand's size and heft, and in the end, that was Team Melli's undoing. In their effort to try and contain the Kiwi frontline, Iran committed 27 fouls and gifted the Junior Tall Blacks with 35 free throw attempts. The Kiwis swished 25 of their freebies, and it proved to be a critical difference-maker. James Moors scored 26 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead New Zealand, while Flynn Cameron added 15 points and 8 assists. On the other end, Iran suffered their first defeat of the competition and have been booted from World Cup contention. Behshad Arabzadeh paced the Iranians with 19 points. 

Flynn Cameron was his usual splendid self for New Zealand.

Iran bows out after absorbing their first defeat of the competition.

Kruz Perrot-Hunt helped carry the Junior Tall Blacks into the U19 World Cup.


They had to endure some scary moments, but the Philippines eventually got the job done and prevailed to book its seat at the 2019 FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup. Bahrain's speed and physicality gave the Filipinos a tough time, especially in the first half, but the SEABA champs righted the ship in the last two periods to turn an 8-point half-time deficit into a double-digit margin by game's end. AJ Edu was all over the place again with 16 points, 17 rebounds, and 2 blocks, while forntcourt partner Kai Sotto added 21 points, 10 boards, and 3 rejections. Reserve guard Miguel Oczon also provided steady minutes with 10 points and 2 triples. Bahrain relied on Baqer Ali and Rashed Awadh in this game, both of whom combined for 26 points.

AJ Edu's star continued to shine brightly for Batang Gilas.

Kai Sotto had his finest performance of the tournament today.

Karim Aboukuora and the Bahrainis gave the Filipinos a scare in this match.


Australia remained unbeaten after thumping Japan in the Quarter-Finals and punching its own ticket to the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup.The Emus showcased elite rebounding and playmaking in their mastery of the Japanese, who groped for form against the bigger and more skilled Aussies. Kyle Bowen was Australia's top performer with 22 points and 13 rebounds, while Sam Froling put up 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Keisei Tominaga had 16 points to lead Japan.

Nobody could stop Sam Froling in the Quarter-Finals.

Keisei Tominaga and the Japanese fell way short of their target.

Tyler Robertson and the Emus are on their way to their first U18 Asia Semi-Finals.

CHINA over KOREA, 90-85

Day 5 saved the best for last. East Asia rivals Korea and China went at it head-on, and it was treat for Asian hoop nuts everywhere. They battled through 7 lead changes throughout the contest, with the Chinese ultimately proving steadier in crunch time. China utilized their size advantage to the hilt, outrebounding Korea, 59-36, and outscoring them in the paint, 44-38. The Koreans tried to compensate with pesky defense that forced 19 Chinese turnovers, but they fell short of the Semi-Finals and the FIBA U19 World Cup. Lee HyunJung's 33 points went down the drain for Korea, which lost its first game of the tournament. China's Guo Haowen matched Lee's offense with 33 points of his own, while Michael Wang was dominant with a monster stat-line of 20 points, 23 rebounds, and 6 assists. 

Guo Haowen was relentless in attacking the basket against Korea.

Lee HyunJung tried his darnedest to tow Korea into the next round.

Michael Wang and the Chinese have a lot of momentum heading into the Semis.

Day 4's Best Players:
AJ Edu (PHI) - 16pts, 17rebs, 3asts, 2stls 2blks
Lee HyunJung (KOR) - 33pts, 10rebs, 6asts, 4stls 
Kyle Bowen (AUS) - 22pts, 13rebs, 11/12 FGs
Guo Haowen (CHN) - 33pts, 8rebs, 4asts, 2stls
James Moors (NZL) - 26pts, 14rebs

Semi-Finals Pairings:
New Zealand v China, winner advances to Final
Philippines v Australia, winner advances to Final

Images from FIBA.basketball.




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