Zaragoza, Spain – Australia made history by winning its first title after defeating Italy 62-38 in Saturday’s FIBA U17 Women’s World Championship in Zaragoza, Spain. In addition, they became the first team outside of America to win the tournament.
The Sapphires put together a strong overall defensive effort against the Italians. They held the Italians to 16 points in the first half while using a 14-0 run to create a 31-15 lead heading into the break.
Australia also got quality production on the offensive side of the ball, with 18 points coming from their star guard Monique Conti, and an impressive 14 points and 12 rebounds from team captain Jasmine Simmons. Starting center Ezi Magbegor, who was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, chipped in 13 points, nine rebounds, and three blocks.
The Australian women, coming off a historic 73-60 semi-finals victory over the United States on Friday, concluded the tournament with a perfect 6-0 record. They looked as dominant as any other team despite the fact that they had never finished higher than fifth in previous editions of the tournament.
Magbegor wins MVP; named to the tournament’s All-Star Five
The Sapphires starting center averaged 12.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks per game, while shooting 54 percent from the field on her way to being named Most Valuable Player of the 2016 FIBA U17 Women’s World Championship. Magbegor was also named to the tournament’s All-Star Five, joined by teammates Conti and Simmons, Italy’s Sara Madera and China’s Xu Han.
The United States finishes third; Classification 5-8 games
The United States, winners of the first three FIBA U17 Women’s World Championships, secured a third place finish by beating China 65-50; the Czech Republic took fifth place after defeating host Spain 63-51; Canada finished in seventh place after a narrow 58-53 win over France.
- Czech Republic
Tajh Jenkins is a Correspondent for NetScouts Basketball.