Emus open with a win
Friday, July 13, 2007 - 09:14 AM
Basketball Australia

The Australian Under 19 Men’s basketball team, the Emus, opened their 2007 FIBA World Championship campaign with a determined 77-65 win over Turkey in Novi Sad, Serbia on Thursday morning.

Combined with four players – Andrew Ogilvy, Patrick Mills, Ben Dowdell and Daniel Jackson – scoring 11 points or more and an impressive 52% field shooting percentage, the Emus registered a 12-point victory.

The Emus are competing at the 2007 FIBA World Championships for Under 19 Men in Novi Sad, Serbia from July 12 to July 22.

“Turkey play hard, the play scrappy and they made us really earn it,” Head Coach Marty Clarke said.

“We had control most of the way and it was a great all round team effort and we need to be like that at this tournament."

“We grinded this one out and the boys are a spirited, close group and a win first up does wonders."

"Daniel Jackson was really good for us, Ben Smith did an outstanding job rebounding and Ben Loius was great defensively but the whole team contributed."

210cm power centre Andrew Ogilvy scored a game-high 17 points while point guard Patrick Mills tallied 14 points, five assists and five steals and forwards Daniel Jackson and Ben Dowdell contributed 12 points and 11 points respectively.

Dogus Balbay scored 15 points to lead Turkey with Eyup Aydogan adding 13 points and Can Ozcan contributing 11 points in support.

The Emus opened the game with a powerful 10-2 run before Ozcan nailed three consecutive three point baskets to give Turkey an 11-10 lead.

However after a Dowdell jump shot and signature Ogilvy dunk the Emus regained the lead which they would never surrender.

After winning the first term 25-17, the Emus managed to edge ahead 40-31 by halftime, winning the second quarter 15-14.

Turkey clawed their way back to 46-43 late in the third period but the Emus replied through a Mills run of five straight points putting the brakes on the Turkish run.

Australia led 58-49 after three quarters, and though Turkey did close the gap to 58-54 early in the fourth quarter, the Australians again had the answer with Kevin Probert burying a three-pointer, Jackson drilling a jumper and Mills sinking two free throws. There were no injuries to report.

The Emus' next game is against Nigeria at 11:45pm AEST on Friday night.

LIVE statistics and box scores for all Emus games are available at www.serbia2007.fiba.com.
A great win for the "Emus". It is always a great sign of the development of basketball in Australia if we beat a European country such as Turkey. Hopefully, these youngsters can continue the streak and beat the Nigerians.

As usual this squad was led by their big man AJ (nbadraft.net has predicted for this youngster to be selected in the first round of the 2009 draft. However, we have to wait and see how well goes in the NCAA) and former Nike Hoop Summit International Squad starting point guard Patrick Mills.