The Australian Men’s Under 19 basketball team, the Emus, continued their unbeaten run at the 2007 FIBA World Championship in Novi Sad, Serbia this morning with a tense 79-78 win over Argentina.
The Emus were ahead by 20-points at three quarter time but a feisty Argentina surged at the young Aussies, but the Emus dug-deep and held onto record their fifth win in six days and alongside the USA, remain the only undefeated team.
Again, solid contributions from across the team, with five players scoring eight points or more, and rebound superiority (39-25) saw the Emus continue on their winning ways.
“”We were the better team for three and three quarters of the game,” Head Coach Marty Clarke said.
“If you take out four minutes of play we were by far the superior team but when you play the South Americans and Southern Europeans and they get an on roll, and it is an emotional culture they come from, they really get their tales up.
“We played well against their zone and were eighteen up but when teams are playing for their life and if they lose that one, the chances are they can fall out of the top eight so they really came after it.
“The boys were fantastic, they played really well and we led the rebound count easily.
“They will be sore but every one is fine, the guys played great and I am more than happy.”
210cm power forward Andrew Ogilvy tallied his third consecutive double-double with game highs of 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Emus while Illawarra’s Daniel Jackson contributed 14 points and 7 rebounds, Canberra’s Patrick Mills added 11 points and 6 assists and South Dragons recruit Shannon Seebohm scored 11 points.
Nicolas Aguirre scored 16 points to lead Argentina.
The Emus unity was evident from tip-off with five players getting on the score sheet in the first term to combine for a solid 22-13 quarter time lead.
The offensive power of the Emus came to the fore in the opening stages of the second term with the Australians going on a 13-3 run before a persistent Argentina responded with a 10-0 of their own, leaving the Emus 38-29 ahead at halftime.
South Dragons recruit Shannon Seebohm nailed back-to-back three-pointers to start the third term and with Ogilvy adding his signature dunk, Ben Dowdell also joining the dunk party, Mills dishing of assists and Jackson scoring 8 points, the Emus dropped 30 three quarter points to hold a dominant 68-48 lead.
Argentina were not going to die wondering in the final quarter and threw everything at the Aussies, turning the tables to scored 30 final quarter points of their own to the Emus 11, but strong rebounding from Ogilvy and tenacious defence saw the Australians record their fifth win fin as many games, 79-78.
The Emus next game is against Spain at 2am AEST on Thursday, July 19.
“They came on a big run and we held it off, it is as simple as that,” Clarke said.
“It is very different to what you see in Australia, you don’t see this brand of basketball and that is why we need to tour internationally and be put under these situations and we came out with the win so hopefully we will be better for it.
“Pat, AJ and Ben Dowdell were good and Ben Louis and Shannon Seebohm also did a great job."