BOOMERS SECURE SECOND STRAIGHT 50-POINT WIN IN FIBA WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS
Kicking off the contest in front of a passionate Bendigo crowd, Angus Brandt found himself wide open under the rim in what would soon become a trait of the game.
Following up, Mitch McCarron (15 points) hit the first basket from downtown as the Boomers picked up where they left off on Thursday night.
The ball movement was working wonders early for the Boomers and continued throughout the game as they finished with a 60-24 advantage in the paint with back-door cuts and double screens gifting the Aussies easy looks.
Nathan Sobey (15 points, four assists, three steals) was the main beneficiary while Todd Blanchfield chimed in with eight points on 4-5 shooting.
Nathan Sobey leads the way for @BasketballAUS with 11 markers at the half. Boomers lead Kazak, 41-19! #FIBAWC #ThisIsMyHousehttps://t.co/eod3IQWyfT https://t.co/6BBBf6oObD https://t.co/PRvabOEApD pic.twitter.com/CeicMFedlA
— Basketball World Cup (@FIBAWC) September 17, 2018
At the other end of the floor, Matt Hodgson (five points, one steal) showcased his strong defensive presence with a couple of big blocks but he left the court and did not return after suffering a calf injury.
That sparked a run of injuries for the Boomers with Angus Brandt rolling his ankle and then Anthony Drmic also leaving the floor with a leg concern after playing just nine minutes.
Despite those interruptions, coach Andrej Lemanis’ men dealt seamlessly with the rotation adjustments and ran a small-ball line-up with two of their centres missing.
Nick Kay (13 points, five assists) kept the scoreboard pressure on with the first two shots of the third quarter and soon the lead grew beyond Kazakhstan’s reach.
The visitors struggled to cope with the Boomers’ pressure, unable to get the ball over half court on several possessions while also surrendering 34 turnovers compared to Australia’s tally of ten.
“I was just really pleased with the discipline and intent with which we went about our business over these two games,” said Lemanis.
“To beat anyone in international competition by 50 takes a certain resolve and attitude. I thought regardless of the score-line, our application and intent defensively was spot on.
“We maintained a quality in our performance which is pleasing and a tough thing to do. To turn them over 34 times is obviously a massive stat and difference in the game, but again part of our scout coming in was that our disruption would bother them a little bit, and it did.”
Even with the injuries, none of which Lemanis thought were too serious ahead of the NBL Blitz beginning this week, the Boomers still saw every player hit the scoreboard.
Daniel Johnson enjoyed his first game on home soil in the green and gold, finishing with 14 points, five boards and five assists.
The Boomers are now potentially just one game away from securing their spot at the FIBA World Cup next year and will be looking to clinch the position when they head to Melbourne for the fifth window.
There, they will face Iran and Qatar with tickets for both games available here.
The Australian Boomers Schedule for the second round of FIBA World Cup qualifiers (all times AEST):
September 14: Australia def. Qatar (95-43)
September 17: Australia def. Kazakhstan (94-41)
November 30: Australia vs. Iran at Margaret Court Arena, Victoria. Time TBA.
December 3: Australia vs. Qatar at Margaret Court Arena, Victoria. Time TBA.
February 21: Australia vs. Kazakhstan. Time TBA.
February 24: Australia vs. Iran. Time TBA.
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