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NZ no match for USA at FIBA U-17 World Cup

The Emerging Junior Tall Blacks run at the FIBA Under-17 World Cup in Turkiye has come to a sobering halt.

Leyton Haddleton's upstart team were routed 145-65 by the juggernaut USA squad in the semifinals at Istanbul's Sinan Erdem Dome on Saturday (Sunday NZ Time), ending their historic run at the tournament.


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The USA, featuring the Cameron and Cayden Boozer, the twin sons of former NBA centre Carlos Boozer, have rolled through the tournament, reaching the final with an average winning margin of 68.2 points.

The USA has now improved to 50-0 all-time at the FIBA U-17 World Cup, and will face Italy, who defeated New Zealand in the group stage, in the final on Sunday, after the Azzurri defeated hosts Turkiye 90-63 in the other semifinal.

The Emerging JTBs were not able to handle the USA's defensive pressure, committing 37 turnovers, with the USA grabbing 27 steals.

New Zealand were held to just 35 percent shooting from the field and 21 percent on three-point attempts, with just Troy Plumtree and Lachlan Crate the only player to score in double-digits.

Emerging Junior Tall Blacks basketball
The Emerging Junior Tall Blacks will play Turkiye for third at the FIBA U-17 World Cup. PHOTO: FIBA

Plumtree had 12 points (5/8 FG, 2/4 3pt) and Crate 12 points (5/13 FG, 2/6 3pt), while the USA had nine players score 10-plus points, led by Brandon McCoy and Koa Peat with 19 points.

The USA's 145 were the most in an U-17 World Cup semifinal and just one shy of the all-time record they set earlier in the tournament. The 80-point margin and the 69 first-half points were also the most in a semifinal.

The Emerging JTBs will look to grab bronze medals when they face Turkey in the playoff for third on Sunday (2am Monday NZT). New Zealand won their group stage matchup 114-94 a week ago.

USA 145 (Brandon McCoy 19, Koa Peat 19, Cameron Boozer 18, JJ Mandaquit 18, Tyran Stokes 13, AJ Dybantsa 11, Caleb Holt 11, Jalen Haralson 11, Chris Cenac 10) Emerging Junior Tall Blacks 65 (Troy Plumtree 12, Lachlan Crate 12). 1Q: 34-13, HT: 69-34, 3Q: 104-47


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