New Zealand’s under 18 men’s team has won gold, while the women’s team has won silver at the FIBA 3x3 Under 18 Asia Cup in Malaysia.
Both teams played themselves into the knockout rounds with some impressive outings during pool play, and as the tournament went on each team seemed to get better and better.
The men’s team of Thomas Whyte, James Moors, Max de Geest and Matthew O’Connell squared off against China in the final and played out of their skins. China had a narrow lead midway through the game, but New Zealand managed to click into gear and earn the win.
Whyte, Moors and de Geest will represent New Zealand at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games in October.
Men’s coach Karl Noyer was proud of his team’s effort and said it was a great experience overall.
“I am very pleased to have coached such an amazing group of boys. It has been a great experience in Malaysia for all of us and a great build up for the Youth Olympic Games next month in Argentina. I think it shows that NZ will be very competitive on the 3x3 world stage in years to come,” said Noyer.
The women began with a 20-13 win over Iran in the quarterfinals, which set them up against Indonesia in the semi-finals. The girls were able to execute their game plan and controlled the tempo of the game, helping them to a 21-15 win. The women would go on to face China in the final, a team that possessed great size and cohesion. New Zealand fought hard but ultimately fell 19-12.Buenos Aires 2018 Olympic Summer Youth Games