A memorable success over the United States, at that point three triumphs in succession at the World Cup in China to top the “Gathering of Death” – Australian basketball is setting new tourist spots for itself.
Presently the Boomers are looking at another first, having never gone past the quarter-finals in 11 past World Cup appearances.
“We speak about it a lot: in international basketball, you need the size, you need the beef, there’s big men playing this game,” said coach Andrej Lemanis after his team beat European heavyweights Lithuania 87-82 in Dongguan.
The well deserved triumph on Thursday was tied with just shy of two minutes left – made it three successes straight to begin their World Cup, a first for the Boomers.
Australia not just endure the “Gathering of Death” likewise including Canada and Senegal, they beat it. Putting the gleam on the night, rout for neighbors New Zealand against a Giannis Antetokounmpo-enlivened Greece moved Australia into the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as the best group in Oceania.
Next, San Antonio Spurs protect Patty Mills and the remainder of the Boomers play shock bundle the Dominican Republic on Saturday in the second round.
They will be top picks to triumph over the Dominicans, who have the joint-most brief program at the 32-group World Cup and were all around beaten 90-56 by France on Thursday.
On Monday, with the quarter-finals in sight, Australia will confront their hardest assignment yet as France, who completed third at the 2014 World Cup. Australia, the Asian champions and 2016 Rio Olympic semi-finalists, have been working up to this.
They are feeling the loss of a few major players in Philadelphia 76er Jonah Bolden and his partner Ben Simmons. Yet, their list still has a huge number of NBA champions and ahead of the pack up to the challenge they finished the USA’s kept running of 78 back to back successes in significant rivalries and display games.
The 98-94 triumph in Melbourne was the Boomers’ first triumph against the world and Olympic champions. Yet rather than being cowed by expanding desires, any semblance of Mills, the Utah Jazz’s Joe Ingles and prepared veteran Andrew Bogut have prospered.
Phoenix Suns focus Aron Baynes roared to the fore against Lithuania with 21 points, 13 bounce back and two helps. “Exceptional, right?” Lemanis murmured.
Veteran United States mentor Gregg Popovich named Australia “top contenders” in China in the development. Factories called it “Australia’s best-ever group”.
Furthermore, in a reviving change from mentors who mention the standard trivialities around “one game at once”, Lemanis will not talk down his group.
“Our objective – I think like each group here – is to win the gold,” he said after the Lithuania triumph.
“That is simply the objective that we set and as a gathering we have an incredible conviction that that is something we can accomplish.
“Our objective, totally, is to win the gold award,” Lemanis emphasized.