Following a camp on the Gold Coast, two Olympians in David Andersen and Brad Newley will join a host of NBL talent to compete in Australia’s first foray into the Asia Cup, held in Lebanon from August 8-20.
All Australian NBL clubs are represented with three players coming from Sydney Kings, two each from Adelaide 36ers, Illawarra Hawks and Cairns Taipans while Melbourne United, Perth Wildcats and Brisbane Bullets are also featured.
“It is a great opportunity for the first-timers to get that international experience with the Boomers which will serve us well as we progress through the qualification process,” said Boomers head coach Andrej Lemanis.
“I’ve been so impressed and humbled with the attitude that everyone came into camp with. I know how much it means to them to be in a Boomers environment and every time you are around them, it reminds you just how lucky we are to be involved in a wonderful program with wonderful people.”
While this team of 12 have now been selected, the broader squad that came into camp is still in contention for the World Cup qualifiers which will begin in November.
“Part of this camp’s purpose was to set the scene for the next 18 months or so through the first set of qualifiers,” said Lemanis.
“We wanted to continue to build with the broader group and establish the team’s trademarks as well as offensive and defensive understandings.
“To that end, some players who were injured still gave up their time to be connected to the program. It was pleasing to see those who were a part of the Olympic campaign continue to stay engaged and give to the group.
“Even when they weren’t able to contribute on court due to injury, they continued to give to the group by communicating and sharing their knowledge, which is a really positive sign moving forward.
“The NBL clubs have been very supportive including allowing injured players to come into camp and trusting us to do the right thing with those guys.
“We have a responsibility to respect our players and an obligation to their clubs to not put them in situations of increased injury risk.
Those players that were unable to come to Beirut due to injury now have time to get the treatment they need and be right for the start of the NBL season. Having everyone healthy and available for selection in November is a great outcome.
While the new-look team will see several players pull on the Boomers singlet for the first time, their history with the program through Emerging Boomers tours or World University Games campaigns has enabled them to already have an understanding of the team’s trademarks.
“The time we devoted to those tours is now paying off,” said Lemanis.
“I’ve coached most of these guys before and where we were on the first day of camp in terms of offensive and defensive understanding was very advanced for a team just coming together.
“That’s a reflection of the time we have invested in our strategy over the past four years or so and we are certainly reaping the rewards now.”
The Boomers will stay in camp until Thursday, July 27 before heading to Beirut, Lebanon on August 2 for a series of practices and a lead-in game before their first official game on August 8.
Stay tuned to Basketball Australia’s website and social media channels for news on a broadcast deal closer to the start of the tournament while the official FIBA website can be found here.
The Boomers Schedule for the FIBA Asia Cup (all times AEST):
August 8: Australia vs. Japan at 11pm
August 10: Australia vs. Hong Kong at 11pm
August 12: Australia vs. Chinese Taipei at 11pm
August 17: Quarter-Finals
August 19: Semi-Finals
August 20: Bronze and Gold medal games
The Australian Boomers FIBA Asia Cup Team: