Spain topple Australians in U17 opener
It was a tough welcoming to the FIBA Under 17 Women’s World Championship for Australia, going down to European powerhouse Spain 65-49 in their opening match in Amsterdam.
A 23-3 third quarter from the Spanish side helped them overcome an eight-point Australian lead at the main interval and go on to a 16-point victory.
It was a bright start to the tournament for the Australian team with Vanessa Panousis scoring five of her seven points in the opening quarter to help her side to an early 16-13 lead.
This momentum was carried into the second period with Stephanie Collins and Louise Brown leading an impressive spread of scorers for the Australians, again extending the lead to eight points at the half.
The third quarter was a different affair as Spain came out of the blocks with a 9-0 burst before Australian coach Marissa Fillipou called a timeout. This did little to stop the Spanish onslaught as they scored the first 17 points of the quarter.
Now trailing by 12 points heading into the final quarter the Australians returned to the type of play that saw them lead in the first half, outscoring Spain in the opening exchanges. However big buckets down the stretch confirmed a Spanish win.
Tiana Mangakahia lead all Australian scorers with 10 points and five rebounds, Collins had seven points and nine rebounds, while Panousis finished with seven points and five rebounds.
Next up for the Australians is Brazil at 6:00pm AEST tonight.