UAE show flashes of brilliance in FIBA U17 defeat to Puerto Rico

Jay Asser 07:32 12/08/2014
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Progress: UAE (red) crossed 50 points.

The UAE brought their best effort of the FIBA U17 World Champi­onship in their final group game, showing flashes of promise in a 110-53 loss to Puerto Rico at Al Ahli Arena last night.

While the scoreboard still dis­played a lopsided result, it was a markedly better showing than their first two games which they lost by an average of 100 points to Italy and Spain.

Overall, the hosts looked like a more confident bunch last night.

The difference was on the offensive end, where they easily outscored their previous high of 32 points against Italy. Leading the way was guard Rashed Mohammad, who tallied a game-high 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field. The UAE finished at the bottom of Group C and take on Serbia today in the round of 16.

For Puerto Rico, big man Arnaldo Toro continued his strong play by notching 18 points and 17 rebounds to lead his nation to a perfect 3-0 record in group play. The Cinderel­las have been a force to reckon with in their debut at the tournament and get a match-up with Egypt to start the knockout stage.

Meanwhile, Italy held a potent Spain offence in check for a 64-50 win last night. The Spaniards were the highest scoring team in the field heading into the contest but shot just 13-of-44 from the field (29.5 per cent) in the loss.

In Group A, Greece edged Angola 62-51 to finish behind the US in sec­ond at 2-1.

France beat winless Japan 96- 51, while Canada topped Australia 85-74 to set up a three-way tie atop Group B with all three teams knot­ted at 2-1. France earns the tie­breaker with points, while Canada finished second and Australia third.

The most exciting game of the night was between Group D lead­ers Argentina and Serbia with the latter triumphing 60-57 to earn the top seed.

Serbia’s Vojislav Stojanovic pro­vided the deciding basket with a putback on an offensive rebound and drained the free throw to com­plete the three-point play.

The round of 16 will be played throughout the day at Al Shabab and Al Ahli Arena.

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