Following their blowout win against Qatar, the Australian Boomers have wasted no time in recalling Chris Goulding for their clash against Kazakhstan in Bendigo on Monday night.
Having served his baffling 1 game suspension after the now infamous brawl against the Philippines, Goulding comes back into the side at the expense of Perth Wildcat Jesse Wagstaff.
Wagstaff could consider himself unlucky after registering a team-best 18 points in the 52-point victory against Qatar. However Goulding has been the Boomers leading scorer throughout the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, and according to Boomers head coach Andrej Lemanis, the plan had been for Goulding to replace Wagstaff regardless of the outcome.
“When we selected Jesse into the team for the Qatar game it was with the understanding that Chris would come in for him in the second game of the window”, said Boomers head coach Andrej Lemanis.
“We are so lucky and blessed to have guys who are fantastic to work with and completely committed to the cause.
“Jesse’s attitude of coming into the side and being prepared to play for one game is really pleasing and reflective of the entire team’s attitude – always proud to wear the green and gold and ready to contribute whenever required.
“It’s exciting to have Chris back in the group. He’s done everything right by the Boomers program so we wanted to reward him and I know he’s happy to be back with the team as well.”
A win against Kazakhstan in Bendigo would all but secure the Boomers a berth at the 2019 FIBA World Cup with four qualifying games still remaining after Monday night. The Boomers sit on top of Group F with a 6-1 record albeit tied with Iran, with both sides 2 games clear of the Philippines, and 3 ahead of next-best Japan. The top 3 teams in the group will all qualify for the World Cup in China next year.
It has been a tough 3 straight games on the road for the Boomers, including that eventful night in Manila. Returning home to Australia and a chance to play in the recently refurbished Bendigo Stadium is one that Lemanis was looking forward to.
“I have spent some time in Bendigo as a player and coach in the past and know just how passionate the crowds are so it will be great to have them all on our side.”
Ranked 68 in the world, Kazakhstan enter the game against the Boomers with a 3-4 overall record having lost their last three qualifiers to Iraq, Iran and Japan. While they could be expected to put up a fight via the trio of Rustam Yergali, Anton Bykov and Rustam Murzagaliyev, the Boomers should easily account for their outmatched foes.
Package deals and last-minute tickets for Monday night’s clash against Kazakhstan can now be purchased here. The game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports.
FIBA World Cup Qualifying Schedule (all times AEST):
14 September: Australia defeated Qatar 95-43 17 September: Australia vs Kazakhstan at Bendigo Stadium, Victoria at 7pm 30 November: Australia vs Iran at Margaret Court Arena, Victoria 3 December: Australia vs Qatar at Margaret Court Arena, Victoria 21 February: Australia vs Kazakhstan (TBA) 24 February: Australia vs Iran (TBA)
Australian Boomers vs Kazakhstan NAME CLUB Todd Blanchfield Illawarra Hawks Angus Brandt Perth Wildcats Jason Cadee Brisbane Bullets Anthony Drmic Adelaide 36ers Chris Goulding Melbourne United Matt Hodgson Brisbane Bullets Daniel Johnson Adelaide 36ers Nick Kay Perth Wildcats Kevin Lisch Sydney Kings Mitch McCarron Melbourne United Mitch Norton Perth Wildcats Nathan Sobey Adelaide 36ers Official Website