August 17, 2014

USA complete three-peat of FIBA U17 World Championship with victory in Dubai

Led by rising young star Malik Newman, USA survived their toughest challenge yet in the final against Australia to capture the 2014 FIBA U17 World Basketball Championship in Dubai on Saturday. The final was a repeat of USA's triumph over Australia in the tournament in 2012 and it marked the Americans third consecutive victory of the under-17 world title.

USA won all seven of their games as the Senior World Champions showed the world that their future is set to be as bright as their present.

The final was a surprisingly closely-matched contest between two of the strongest young sides in the tournament. Newman scored 16 of his team-high 21 points to hand the Americans a seven-point lead in the first half. Newman, the USA captain, also grabbed 11 rebounds in the game. Australia made a comeback after halftime, led by Dejan Vasiljevic who had 29 points and six three-pointers. In the end, the USA survived a tight fourth quarter to secure a 99-91 win and the gold medal.

Australia's captain Tom Wilson poured in 23 points in a losing effort.

Newman was named the tournament's MVP as he helped the United States continue their undefeated streak in the tournament going back to all the three editions of the championship, totaling to a total of 23 victories.

USA had used a balanced effort a day earlier to defeat Serbia 89-68 in the competition's semi-final, eclipsing a triple-pronged attack by Serbia's Nikola Rakicevic (19), Vojislav Stojanovic (18), and Stefan Peno (18). Australia made a huge comeback after being 22 down early in the game in their Semi-Final versus Spain to trump their opponents 80-74 in overtime of a memorable contest.

Serbia finished at third place by defeating Spain in a close tie, 62-59, on Saturday. Rakicevic had 17 for Serbia while Spain were led by Ramon Vila (20) and Santiago Yusta (17).

Final Standings
  • 1. USA
  • 2. Australia
  • 3. Serbia
  • 4. Spain
  • 5. Puerto Rico
All Tournament Team
  • Malik Newman (USA) - MVP
  • Diamond Stone (USA)
  • Isaac Humphries (Australia)
  • Dejan Vasiljevic (Australia)
  • Nikola Rakicevic (Serbia)

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