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Quarter-finals await for Aussies at the Asia Cup

14 August 2017

BASKETBALL: Completing a sweep of their group stage games with a 90-50 victory over Chinese Taipei, the Australian men's basketball team will now prepare for a quarter-final next Thursday.

The four teams that finished atop their group at the end of the pool stage avoid the qualifying quarter-finals and advance directly to the final eight of the tournament, a feat Australia have comfortably achieved.

After jacking 30+ three-pointers against Hong Kong, the Boomers made a concerted effort to move the ball inside against Chinese Taipei and they finished with a 62-18 advantage in the paint, all without Matt Hodgson and David Andersen (who has returned home to Australia with a shoulder injury).

Australia also dominated the rebounds 44-22 including a 16-5 offensive rebounding edge and while there were lapses during the contest and an overall 3-22 (14%) mark from long range which coach Andrej Lemanis will want to address, the victory was never really in jeopardy.

A slow start saw the Boomers take over three minutes to hit their first field goal but they held their opponents to just 2-8 shooting at the other end of the floor before Nick Kay (seven points, four boards) converted a three-point play to kick them into gear.

The Boomers then switched into a full-court press to ramp up the defence and they finished the first term on a 12-6 run to take an eight-point lead.

Creek set the tone of the second period with a steal and slam to add to his ever-expanding highlight reel, sparking a 7-0 run for the Aussies.

Not to be outdone, Angus Brandt (12 points, seven rebounds) got clear for another dunk of his own and while foul trouble forced him back to the bench, he helped the Boomers take full control once again by half-time as they led by 20.

Jason Cadee then started the third period with a lay-up and with that basket, every Boomer who saw court time had hit the scoreboard for the third consecutive game.

Creek then raced into double-figures as he attacked the basket with abandon and he finished the game with 22 points on perfect 9-9 shooting from the field.

Chinese Taipei were up for the fight out of the main break, keeping pace with the Aussies halfway through the third period before some full-court pressure again gave the Boomers an extra cushion.

Brad Newley (nine points, nine assists, two steals) wowed the fans with a steal and behind the back dish to Mitch Norton (eight points) for the lay-up, sparking another 8-0 run.

That helped push Australia's lead out to 29 at the final change and Mitch McCarron (11 points, eight rebounds) ensured there would be no drop in the margin as the game wound down, notching double-figures himself and throwing home a dunk for good measure.

Find the full box score here.

Australia will now await results to find out their Quarter-Final opponent as they have earned a significant rest before their next game.

With the number two and three ranked teams from each Group now battling in qualifying Quarter-Finals for a spot in the last eight, Australia will not hit the court again until Thursday.

Stay tuned to Basketball Australia's social media channels throughout the week for updates on the Boomers' next opponent as well as game time on August 17.

The Boomers Schedule for the FIBA Asia Cup (all times AEST):

August 17: Quarter-Finals
August 19: Semi-Finals
August 20: Bronze and Gold medal games

Basketball Australia

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