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Boomers bound into World Cup


IT'S official! After belting Iran 76-47 tonight at Margaret Court Arena, Australia is through to the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China, joining France, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Nigeria and Tunisia among the first eight qualifiers.

In all, 32 nations will contest the World Cup, the Boomers' big win guaranteeing their place, regardless of their remaining results against Qatar on Monday at Margaret Court Arena, or away to Kazakhstan and Iran in late February.

Adelaide 36ers "big" Daniel Johnson (above) led the scoring with 12, 11 Boomers adding to an even scoring spread and Jason Cadee - the only player without a basket - leading the team in assists.

“Obviously pleased to have ticked that box,” Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis said of World Cup qualification. “As you reflect on the whole process, it is a grind.

“At the end of the day, that was the end-game to this process – to secure a spot in China, 2019.

“To have that done now and not have to rely on getting a win in the sixth (FIBA) window is in some ways a relief and again, very proud of the team and the way they’ve gone about it.

“I got told a number before – that we’ve used now 24 players throughout the qualifying series, which again speaks to the depth of talent of Australian basketball, and not only the depth of talent from a skill perspective but just, I say it every time, just the amazing attitude of the players towards playing for their country and making themselves available and doing it the right way.

“Nathan Jawai (above), David Barlow – you’ve been out of the group now we need you, you’ve come back in … yep, they’re stoked and proud, pleased as punch to accept that. And there’s no hang-up on not being included previously.

“It’s all ‘yep, you want me? I’m in, I’m in.’ It’s just an amazing group to work with and we’re really fortunate to have those guys represent Australian basketball.”

Both did well in their green-and-gold recall, Jawai busting open the second quarter as Australia took control for keeps.

WELCOME BACK: David Barlow doing his thing. All pictures courtesy of FIBA.com

A 14-0 run broke an early 8-8 deadlock and left no-one at Margaret Court Arena in any doubt the Boomers would not be caught.

Nathan Sobey (below) and Mitch McCarron were big early, Johnson made an immediate impact when he hit the floor and Todd Blanchfield seized on two wicked steals which were spirit-breakers for the visitors.

Similarly, a Sobey steal in the third for a quick McCarron basket reflected on Australia’s defensive intensity.

Its ball movement also was exemplary, as 22 assists would imply.

Elsewhere in the Asian zone, New Zealand beat Jordan 95-69 in Christchurch, Japan took out Qatar 85-47, Kazakhstan knocked out Philippines 92-88 and Korea beat Lebanon 84-71.

AUSTRALIA BOOMERS 76 (Johnson 12, McCarron 11, Blanchfield, Sobey 9; Hodgson, Kay 6 rebs; Cadee 4 assts) d IRAN 47 (Yakhchalidehkordi 12, Jamshidijafarabadi 9; Mirzaeitalarposhti 6 rebs; 8 assts in total) at Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne.

Nov 30

Content, unless otherwise indicated, is © copyright Boti Nagy.