The Australian Under 21 women’s basketball team, the Sapphires, have progressed to the semi-finals of the 2007 FIBA World Championships for Under 21 Women after smashing Canada 98-57 in their quarter final at the SK Vidnoje Hall in Vidnoje, Russia tonight.
Five players scored 10 points or more to go with the Sapphires 46-29 rebound count win for them to qualify for the final four of the tournament.
The Sapphires will play either France or Brazil in the semi-finals with their game to immediately follow the Sapphires easy win.
“It was a very powerful display in the second half by a very good Sapphires team,” said Head Coach Gary Fox.
“Everyone contributed and I am so proud of their performance. They really have had to dig deep.
“It was a great step towards the semi-finals.”
Chantella Perera scored a game high 16 points to lead the Sapphires while 2006/07 defencejobs WNBL Rookie of the Year Cayla Francis contributed a 15-point, 10 rebound double-double and Adelaide Lightning guard Renae Camino added 13 points in support.
Bendigo Spirit guard Kathleen Macleod tallied 12 points and 5 assists and Rebecca Duke posted 10 points and 5 assists.
Kadie Riverin scored 12 points to lead Canada.
The Sapphires continued their first quarter domination of the tournament, easily winning the term 19-13.
Canada managed to stay with the Australians in the second term with the Sapphires extending their lead by a point, leading 39-32.
The third quarter proved the difference between the two sides, with the Sapphires crushing Canada 37-12 for the term to hold a dominant 76-44 three quarter time lead.
The Sapphires were up by 40-points late in the third quarter, allowing Fox to rotate the entire Sapphires team before they eventually recorded a powerful 98-57 victory.
There were no injuries to report.
The coach and team members are available for comment upon request.
LIVE statistics for all Sapphires games are available at www.russia2007.fiba.com