TRADING the Victorian blue and white for Australian green and gold is an elite honour five of our Under-17 Victorians will take on next month.
Liam Herbert, Jay Rantall, Kobe Williamson, Joel Capetola and Paul Tsapatolis will feature in the Crocs line-up set to represent Australia at the FIBA Under-16 Asian Championship, held in Foshan, China from 2-8 April.
Basketball Victoria’s Country High Performance coach Justin Schueller adds to the Victorian flair of the team, as he prepares for his first Asian Championship as the Australian Under-17 Men’s coach.
With the new qualification system in effect, the championship provides the pathway for our Australian side to earn its place in the FIBA World Championships, with the top four in Asia booking their tickets to Argentina from 30 June – 8 July.
For Schueller and the Crocs it’s about earning that qualification, then going after the gold as we showcase our talents in the new arena of Asia.
“We are excited to enter into Asia as the first men’s team to go through qualification through this path,” Schueller said. “Our expectation is to continue the proud history the U17 Crocs program has been able to have at U17 Worlds and our sole goal is to qualify and win in Asia.
“We know we have two very strong programs in Malaysia and the Philippines in our pool and can’t wait to test ourselves against them.”
Well represented in the green-and-gold, Schueller said our Victorian representatives feature amidst a strong Australian brigade that will push the opposition across the tournament.
“We have a strong Victorian contingent with three metro and two country athletes in the team,” Schueller said. “It is exciting for these young men as well as all of our group from all states to get their first chance to wear the green and gold, the group will do us proud I’m sure!
“We have a very versatile, athletic group that has progressed well with our system through our recent camp.
“Our challenge will be how quickly we can come together through the tournament to position ourselves in the medal rounds.”
For the schedules, photos and highlights from the FIBA Asian Championship, visit the FIBA website.