Boomers finalise FIBA Oceania preparations against Slovenia

By @hoopsdontstop30 on
Boomers Basketball
Kevin Love (R) of the U.S. and Australia's David Andersen reach for a rebound during their men's quarterfinal basketball match at the North Greenwich Arena in London during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 8, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Segar (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT OLYMPICS SPORT BASKETBALL TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

The Boomers will complete Australia’s preparations for the 2015 FIBA Oceania Championship with double-header games against Slovenia on Tuesday and Wednesday. Boomers will face New Zealand in the Olympic qualifier series on Aug. 15 and 18 in Melbourne and Wellington, respectively.

The Australian squad displayed a stronger performance on Saturday but still fell short to win the team’s second warm-up game against Lithuania, 92-85, in Siauliai. The Boomers showed rustiness in its defeat from the Lithuanians last week, with most of the Australians coming off several months of rest from basketball, including Golden State Warriors centre Andrew Bogut who was scoreless in the team’s 80-68 loss last month, according to Sydney Morning Herald.

Despite two consecutive losses, Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis still finds positive things from his players’ performances. The 46-year-old Latvian coach admitted the team is still trying to find its rhythm but pointed out that the purpose of the tune-up games is to make Boomers better for the FIBA Oceania series.

“I thought we were better than we were the other night and that’s what this tour is about for us. It’s about preparing for our [Oceania] Championship,” Lemanis told Basketball.net.au.

David Andresen led the Boomers with 20 points, while Utah Jazz forward Brock Motum added 15 points off the bench. Bogut, who won his first NBA champion with the Warriors in June, regained his touch after a lackluster performance in Australia’s first tour game. The 6-foot-10 centre scored 12 points, along with nine rebounds and three assists, in just 23 minutes of playing time.

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova appeared in his first international tour with the Boomers but only contributed three points while playing just a little over 17 minutes. Jazz’s second-year guard Dante Exum, who suffered an ankle injury during Utah’s first game in the NBA summer league, did not play for the friendly as a precaution. However, Exum is expected to play for the two remaining tour games in Ljubljana.

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