Emus set clear path to WC finals with win over Brazil (courtesy of Basketball Australia)

The Australian U19 Men’s Basketball team, the Emus, have taken a critical step towards securing a finals berth at the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship of Basketball in Latvia this morning, snatching a hard fought six-point win over Brazil to take their tally to 4-1 for the tournament.

After a gritty win over the Russians the night before, the Aussies faced the mighty South American outfit, a team who they had beaten convincingly a little over a week ago in a warm-up contest in Lithuania.

But the World Championships are a different ball game and the Emus were made to work hard before securing the big 63-57 win.

It was the captain and vice-captain of the side who got the job done for the Emus offensively, with captain High Greenwood dropping 17 points for the game, while Mitch Creek led all scorers with 23 points to go with 10 rebounds and five steals.

The Emus jumped out of the gates early, taking a quick 7-2 lead in the first term, with NBL rising star Creek doing much of the heavy work. But he wasn’t getting a lot of help, as the Brazilians steadied though the hands of Raul Neto, who kept the scoreboard ticking over in the first period.

The South Americans drew level at the end of the first, the two nations sitting on 12 each in a low-scoring contest.

It was the Brazilian side who came out the stronger in the second quarter, returning the favour and starting the term with a 7-2 run of their own. Again Neto was the instigator, but as the term progressed, he started getting some help, from the likes of Cristiano Felicio and Gabriel Aguirre.

Brazil managed to wrangle a 26-19 lead with under two minutes to play in the half as they looked to take a strong-hold of the contest.

Emus captain Hugh Greenwood dropped two quick buckets in a bid to rally his teammates before the half, but the Brazilians countered, holding on to a 28-21 lead with only a minute to play. But the Emus weren’t done.

A Mitch Creek three point play was quickly followed by a Jackson Aldridge steal which gave Mitch Creek another quick bucket, and the tide was shifting. Creek then did his own handy defensive work, picking up a steal himself, before finishing again at the other end of the floor. Seven points inside the last minute of the half by the athletic Aussie forward brought his team level going into the change rooms at 28 points each.   

Captain Hugh Greenwood got the Emus’ noses in front at the beginning of the third, helping the Aussies to a slender lead before an arm-wrestle unfolded, both sides exchanging a one-point lead.

Creek continued his impressive display and he was starting to get the help he needed, with Greenwood and Jackson Hussey getting among the action. A three-point bomb from the hand of Hussey saw the Emus sneak out to a five-point lead, which they held until the dying moments of the quarter when Lucas Nogueira of Brazil managed to get to the foul line with four seconds on the clock, sinking both to bridge the Emus gap to a slight three-points going into a final quarter showdown.

A Jackson Aldridge three pointer got things underway for the Emus in the fourth quarter, and when big-man Will Sinclair had a rebound and put-back, the Aussies were out to an eight point lead.

It was a 7-0 run from the Emus to start the last quarter which saw them then sprint out to a 10 point lead, but Brazil fought back again. Raul Neto attacked the Emus like he did at the beginning of the game, dropping two quick buckets before Felipe Taddei sank a critical three-pointer, which brought the game back to within four points, the Aussie coaches calling a quick time-out.

With Brazil desperate and on the front foot, it was the Emus’ captain Hugh Greenwood who steadied the ship with a big three and another quick bucket late to see the Aussies hang on to a six point victory.

They now face Poland in the final contest of the second phase of the tournament tonight (11.45pm AEST). A win over Poland will see the Australians secure top spot in Group E — a first or second finish will set them up with a quarter final showdown with third or fourth place from Group F, which currently looks likely to be either Croatia or Serbia. The additional benefit of a top-two finish is that they will avoid tournament favourites the USA and Lithuania until the semi-finals.

Australia 63 (Creek 23, Greenwood 17, Aldridge 9) defeated Brazil 57 (Neto 19, Felicio 16, Noguera 9)

Quarter by quarter

1st Quarter: 12 – 12

2nd Quarter: 28 – 28 (16 – 16)

3rd Quarter: 45 – 42 (17 – 14)

4th Quarter: 63 – 57 (18 – 15)


Emus take down Russia in 2nd phase of World Champs (Courtesy of Basketball Australia)

The Australian Emus have started the second phase of their 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship campaign in style, snatching a hard-fought 85-78 victory over basketball powerhouse Russia.

Anthony Drmic was again in fine form top-scoring for the game with 22 points, while Mitch Creek was again solid finishing with 16 points. Igor Hadziomerovic added 15 points for the Aussies. With wins critical at this stage of the tournament, the game saw a tight opening, with both teams grappling for the ascendency. The two nations traded buckets for most of the opening period before Russia took a slender 21-18 lead into the quarter-time huddle.

The Russians got rolling early in the second quarter and were making life tough for the Emus with the Aussies having several defensive breakdowns. But the Emus fought back as the quarter progressed, and after a Hugh Greenwood three found the bottom of the net, the Emus were back within two points at the half time break.

A 5–0 run to begin the second half by the Russians was countered by a 9–4 Emus run, as all signs pointed to this one going down to the wire. The Russians managed to extend the lead back to three, setting up for a dramatic final quarter.

The Aussies ignited in the fourth period. The likes of Drmic, Hadziomerovic and Creek began to punish the Russian defence, and along with several defensive stops thanks to their full-court pressure, the Emus hit the lead off a Drmic three with 4.33 to go. The Russians were forced to foul as the game went into the final minute, with the Aussie lead out to six. The Emus were able to steady as they made a number of clutch free throws, their Achilles heel in previous matches, holding on for the gritty seven-point win.

“This was a fantastic effort from the lads tonight,” said Emus head coach Damian Cotter. “We shared the ball well, and when it mattered, defended well. We just kept chipping away, always believing that we could win,” he said. “We now look forward to the next game against Brazil. They are a very athletic, talented team. ”The Emus battle Brazil tonight, before facing Poland to round out the phase. They must finish in the top four of the six-nation Group E to advance to the finals, which tips off on Friday.

Australia 85 (Drmic 22, Creek 16, Hadziomerovic 15) defeated Russia 78 (Karaasev 19, Kulagin 19, Trushkin 13)

Quarter by quarter

1st Qtr: 18 – 21

2nd Qtr: 37 – 39 (19 – 18)

3rd Qtr: 58 – 61 (21 – 22)       

4th Qtr: 85 – 78 (27 – 17)

For the box score and all other information on the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championships head to here


The Australian EMUS have defeated Chinese Taipei 93-65 , to progress into the next stage in the FIBA U19 World Championships. Australia set up the win with a strong 29-17 first quarter.

Chinese Taipei fought back in the second but could not bridge the gap trailing by 15 at half time. The Emus then came out with a 30-16 thrid quarter seal the win.

WorkforceXS D-League Kilsyth Cobra Will Sinclair (4pts, 4rbds. 1as, 2st, 2bs) played 19 minutes, Sinclairs’ teammates Anthony Drmic (34pts, 8rbds) and Igor Hadziomerovic
(27pts, 4rbds) were the EMU’s best.

Australia’s next game is against Russia, tip-off is 11pm tonight.

For the box score and all other information on the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championships head to here

Emus fall to host nation Latvia at U19 World Champs

(courtsey of Basketball Australia)

The Australian U19 Men’s basketball team, the Emus, have dropped game two of their 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship of Basketball campaign, falling to the host nation Latvia by 10 points, in a tough contest which saw Captain Hugh Greenwood go down with an ankle sprain.

Mitch Creek was best for the Aussies, finishing the game with 20 points, with Igor Hadziomerovic adding 14 points. The Latvians had three players register 20 points or more, led by Kaspars Vecvagars with 24 points, followed by Davis Bertans with 22 points, while Edmunds Dukulis finished with 20 points.

It was Latvia who got off to a strong start, largely on the back of Bertans who was dominant offensively early in the quarter.

But the Aussies returned fire late in the term, coming back with better execution in the half court to minimise the lead going into the first break down, 18-15.

A slow start in the second quarter gave the home team some confidence behind a raucous crowd. When Hugh Greenwood went down with an ankle injury, the Emus rallied through Mitch Creek, Anthony Drmic and Hadziomerovic to close the gap to three at the half.

The Emus failure to convert in the half court and from the foul line after half time increased the scoreboard pressure and with some breakdowns on defence, the Latvians went on a 12-0 run to take what would be an insurmountable 15-point lead.

An increased effort on defence and a major focus on composure on offence gave the Emus a 7-0 run of their own in the last quarter and saw the margin shaved back to nine points with five minutes to play. 

Despite being back in the contest, however, poor free throw shooting by the Emus cost them any chance of getting closer in the final minutes, Latvia securing the 10-point win.

‘While it’s always disappointing to lose, it is most important that we stay focused,” said Emus head coach Damian Cotter.

‘Latvia is a very good team. Our failure to put scoreboard pressure on the Latvians meant we were playing continual catch up basketball. Shooting poorly from the free throw line will always make it harder to win the contest,” he said.

Australia plays Chinese Taipei tonight (11pm AEST) to advance to the next stage of the tournament.

Latvia 78 (Vecvagars 24, Bertans 22, Dukulis 20) defeated Australia 68 (Creek 20, Hadziomerovic 14, Drmic 12)

Quarter by quarter

1st:      18 – 15

2nd:     35 – 32    (17 – 17)

3rd:      64 – 49    (29 – 17)

4th:      78 – 68    (14 – 19)





The Australian EMUS have defeated Argentina 73-49 in the preliminary round of the FIBA U19 World Championships. Australia won every quarter but it was their 29-18 final term that ensured them the win.

WorkforceXS D-League Kilsyth Cobra Will Sinclair (1pt, 2rbds. 1as) played 17 minutes, Sinclairs’ teammates Anthony Drmic (25pts, 6rbds) and Hugh Greenwood (16pts, 4rbds) were the EMU’s best.

Australia’s next game is against hosts Latvia, tip-off is 10am tomorrow AEST.

For the box score and all other information on the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championships head to here



The Australian U19 Men’s Basketball Team, The Emus, are in Latvia ahead of tonight’s tip-off of the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship of Basketball.

The Emus will take to the floor later tonight (1am tomorrow morning AEST) in their first match of the tournament against South American juggernaut Argentina, before facing Latvia on Friday (3am Saturday AEST) and then Chinese Taipei on Saturday night  (11pm AEST), before the crossover matches begin.

Headlining the team is NBL rising star Mitch Creek from the Adelaide 36ers, as well as fellow young gun Hugh Greenwood, who was a member of the 2010 Boomers squad that prepared for the FIBA Men’s World Championship.    

Although a reasonably favourable draw, with The Emus avoiding potential match-ups with some other powerhouse nations like the United States, Lithuania, Canada, Serbia and Croatia until later in the tournament, head coach Damien Cotter isn’t taking anything for granted.

"The Latvians will be good; it’ll be on their home court and it’ll be a great challenge for our kids," said Cotter. "The Argentinians are always tough and having been involved in games against the Argentinians before, our team can expect a very physical affair."

Success in the preliminary rounds will see The Emus face the best three teams from the very tough Group A, made up of Brazil, Poland, Russia and Tunisia.  

Current gold medallists in this age group, the USA, have been drawn in Group D, which assures that a meeting with the perennial powerhouse of world basketball will not occur until deep in the Championship.

“We have to play together for us to be successful and that means taking care of the little things such as blocking out and making the extra pass,” said Cotter. “We have a chance to have a good tournament if we stick together and play smart.”

“Everybody understands that there is a need to step up and is looking forward to the first game against Argentina,” he said.

Previous members of The Emus team include Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills and David Andersen.     


Name / Position / Height / D.O.B.

Jackson ALDRIDGE / Guard / 184cm / 14.5.1992

 Mitch CREEK / Guard/Forward / 198cm / 27.4.1992

Anthony DRMIC / Guard/Forward / 196cm / 25.2.1992

Andrija DUMOVIC / Centre / 207cm / 18.4.1993

Hugh GREENWOOD / Guard / 190cm / 6.3.1992

Igor HADZIOMEROVIC / Guard / 195cm / 1.1.1992

Jackson HUSSEY / Guard / 188cm / 24.1.1992

Mitchell MCCARRON / Guard / 190cm / 30.6.1992

Will SINCLAIR / Centre / 206cm / 20.9.1992

Lewis THOMAS / Forward / 202cm / 15.2.1992

Daniel TRIST / Centre / 204cm / 29.8.1992

Owen ODIGIE / Forward / 196cm / 18.1.1993


Emus Staff

Head Coach: Damian Cotter

Assistant Coach: Paul Gorriss

Technical Assistant: Markus Klusemann

Manager: Bob McGugan

Doctor: Dr Graham Lee

Physiotherapist: Peter Suffolk