BOOMERS SOLIDIFY FIRST PLACE IN GROUP D AT FIBA ASIA CUP

BOOMERS SOLIDIFY FIRST PLACE IN GROUP D AT FIBA ASIA CUP

Moving to 2-0 in the FIBA Asia Cup group stage, the Australian Boomers have taken care of Hong Kong 99-58 to be one game away from automatic qualification directly through to the Quarter-Finals.

With Hong Kong playing a zone defence for a majority of the night, the Boomers took advantage from beyond the arc where they shot 13-35 (37%) but they exerted their influence inside as well with a 48-26 rebounding advantage.

That included 17 offensive boards which came without David Andersen and Brad Newley who are both being managed through the pool games.

Six players scored in double-figures to lead every Boomer who hit the court on the scoreboard while they also shot 72% as a team from inside the arc and tallied 27 assists on 39 field goals, led by Jason Cadee's five points and five dimes.

Cam Gliddon (12 points) and Daniel Kickert (11 points, five rebounds, four assists) got the three-point party started early while Matt Hodgson (six points) asserted himself in the low-post as he had done against Japan two nights previous when he recorded a double-double.

Shing Yee Fong proved dangerous for Hong Kong at the other end of the floor with his team's first eight points but Todd Blanchfield was able to answer as he came in for his first minutes of the tournament.

He knocked down consecutive triples before finishing the contest with a game-high 18 points on 7-12 shooting.

The Boomers hit 5-8 from distance for the opening term and Angus Brandt put the exclamation on the quarter with a huge and-one jam to put the Aussies up by 13 at quarter-time.

Their pressure defence then stepped up another notch and Mitch McCarron (ten points, five boards, four assists) was able to take advantage on the fast break.

Australia pulled together a 17-0 run spanning the opening two terms and on a reverse lay-up, Nick Kay (two points, four rebounds, two assists) joined the procession to ensure every Boomer had scored with three minutes left in the first half.

They began to fall in love with the three-point shot though and when those attempts stopped falling, coach Andrej Lemanis called a time-out to re-calibrate his side.

Mitch Creek (15 points, nine rebounds, two steals) responded with five quick points on rim attacks including a dunk as he battled Brandt for top place on the highlight reel, giving Australia a 56-30 half-time lead.

The three-point barrage from the Boomers persisted into the third quarter but a couple of sloppy passes allowed Hong Kong to keep pace through the first few minutes.

Brandt (nine points on 4-4 shooting, six rebounds) once again broke the shackles with a thunderous slam though and that sparked the Boomers to a 13-2 run to finish the third period.

Creek then matched the big man with another baseline cut and dunk as the match wound down before the side almost connected on two alley-oops as they just fell short of cracking the century mark.

Find the full box score here.

Australia will now take on Chinese Taipei on Saturday night for their final group stage game and a victory will see them advance straight through to the Quarter-Finals on Thursday while the second and third placed teams from each group will battle it out in qualifying Quarter-Finals.

Don't forget all games are available via Fox Sports live and ad-free during play.

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

August 12: Australia vs. Chinese Taipei at 11pm (Fox Sports ch. 507)
August 17: Quarter-Finals
August 19: Semi-Finals
August 20: Bronze and Gold medal games

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