Andrew Bogut
Jun 4, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut (12) dunks the ball over Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith (5) during the fourth quarter in game one of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. REUTERS/Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Boomers have just completed its FIBA Oceania Championship campaign after wrapping up the series 2-0 against the Tall Blacks. The win guaranteed Australia a spot at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics albeit the road to the Olympic gold medal will be tough for the Aussies. However, two of Australia’s NBA title holders believe the Boomers are a legitimate contender for the medal next year.

Australia clinched the opportunity to play at the Rio Olympics after defeating New Zealand 89-79 on Tuesday night in Wellington. The Boomers did well in dispatching a Tall Blacks team that lacked size without NBA centre Steven Adams, but Golden State Warriors big man Andrew Bogut is well aware that the two-game series was just the beginning.

“Every country seems to get better and better - including us. If we can have all of our horses healthy and ready, we have a chance,” Bogut said, reports Sydney Morning Herald.

Bogut also said that the Boomers chances could depend on which group of teams they will face in the elimination round of the Olympic tournament. However, the 7-foot Aussie pointed out that Australia’s build up ahead of next year’s Olympic games will also be a factor to the team’s success.

Mills agreed with Bogut’s goal for Australia, but admitted the road to the gold medal will not be served on a silver platter. The San Antonio Spurs guard, who answered a late call to replace an injured Dante Exum, is convinced that the Boomers’ combination of youth and experience will do well in a competition where there is no place for an error.

"We believe that we have a great chance in achieving next year, as long as everyone's healthy and we've got the right system in. It's a definite reality and in the mindset of everyone to go and get it done,” Mills said.

Australia had a record seven players who played in the NBA last season, but only five committed to wear the green and gold jerseys. Exum was part of the Boomers’ preparation for the FIBA Oceania, but missed the series after tearing his left ACL during the team’s European tour.

Detroit Pistons centre Aron Baynes was recovering from a surgery, while Joe Ingles sat out after an intense rookie season with the Utah Jazz. Australia could certainly post a serious threat to other teams with more than a starting-five worth of NBA players.

Meanwhile, New Zealand will still have a chance to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in next year’s one of three six-team tournaments, with the winner of each tournament booking their spot at the Rio games. The Tall Blacks’ hopes may have dealt a heavy blow after losing against Australia, but the team’s future qualifying prospects look brighter.

According to NZ Herald, FIBA president Horacio Muratore confirmed that New Zealand and Australia will move into the Asian qualifying zone from the 2017 qualifying cycle onwards. The move will benefit New Zealand’s chances of qualifying and will give fans more opportunities to see the Tall Blacks play on home soil, with six home and six away games in the qualifying process.

Contact the writer at, or let us know what you think below.