Boomers advance to quarterfinals after rolling Chinese Taipei
The Boomers defeated Chinese Taipei 90-50 in the FIBA Asia Cup on Saturday night to finish on top of Group D with an unblemished 3-0 record.
Mitch Creek was outstanding with a game high 22 points on a perfect 9-of-9 shooting, as he continued to prove that he is one of the best players in the tournament. Brad Newley was instrumental with nine assists, while big man Angus Brandt had his best game of the tournament with 12 points and 7 boards in the absence of rested center Matt Hodgson.
The Boomers got off to a sluggish start in the first quarter with Chinese Taipei leading the contest seven minutes into the game. Yet the Australians stepped up a gear to finish the period off with a 12-3 run.
Chinese Taipei lacked the height to combat the Boomers front court, with their tallest player standing at 6’8. However the Boomers struggled to take advantage and Andrej Lemanis began to trial a line-up with only one big man. Liu was influential for Chinese Taipei in the first, leading all comers with 7 points.
The Aussies lifted their defensive intensity in the second, with the Boomers guards forcing turnovers with their half court man-to-man defense. Creek began to worry Chinese Taipei with 2 steals in the second, while also forcing his way to the basket on the offensive end.
Gaining control of the paint during a 23-9 period, the Aussies finished the game having smashed Chinese Taipei for points in the paint, leading the statistic 62-18. Much like the other group matches, the Boomers had practically iced the game by half time with a lead of at least 20 points.
Creek continued his dominance, scoring eight of his 22 points in the third quarter.
The Aussies showcased some impressive ball movement at times during the second half, however coach Lemanis looked displeased with the team’s hit and miss offense.
Chinese Taipei employed a 2-3 zone throughout the contest, however the Boomers chose to limit their three-pointers to 22 attempts after shooting just under half of their field goals from beyond the arc against Hong Kong. Unfortunately the Boomers connected on just three attempts. Despite this, Lemanis’ team still managed to shoot 50% from the field.
The Australians dominated the rebounds, doubling Chinese Taipei’s rebound numbers. This was highlighted by winning the offensive rebounding numbers 16-5.
Andrej Lemanis was once again able to rely on his bench, with the Aussies winning the bench points stats 42-7. Cheng Liu was impressive for Chinese Taipei with a team high 17 points.
Australia advance to the quarterfinals, joining New Zealand who topped Group C despite losing a thriller to South Korea. The winners of Group's A and B are yet to be determined with their final preliminary games scheduled for Sunday night Australian time. The Boomers and the Tall Blacks will play the winner of quarterfinal qualifying games to be played on Monday and Tuesday.
It was also announced earlier in the day that David Andersen would return home to Australia with a shoulder injury sustained in a lead-up game against Syria. Andersen, who had yet to suit up for the Boomers in the tournament, will not be replaced, with the Australian's sticking with a squad of 11.
Australia 90: Creek 22, Brandt 12, McCarron 11 Chinese Taipei 50: Liu 17, Chou 12
Boomers schedule for FIBA Asia Cup
August 8: Australia defeated Japan 84-68 August 10: Australia defeated Hong Kong 99-58 August 12: Australia defeated Chinese Taipei 90-50 August 17: Quarterfinals August 19: Semifinals August 20: Bronze and gold medal games
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