BOOMERS STAND TALL IN FIRST GAME OF FIBA ASIA CUP

BOOMERS STAND TALL IN FIRST GAME OF FIBA ASIA CUP

The Australian Boomers have shaken off some early cobwebs to defeat Japan in their first ever game of the FIBA Asia Cup, winning 84-68.

As is often the case against Japan, the Boomers had a significant advantage under the rim and once they utilised that edge, there was no looking back.

They also got the job done without their only Rio Olympian in the side, David Andersen, hitting the court while Todd Blanchfield also sat for the entirety of the contest.

Every Boomer that saw court time hit the scoreboard with five players in double-figures in a well-rounded performance while they shot 51% from the field as a team and recorded 23 assists on their 33 total field goals.

The scout would have told the Aussies that their opponents liked the long-range game and Japan were not shy early, starting 3-4 from distance.

They were in a zone at the other end of the floor though and Jason Cadee and Cam Gliddon (13 points, three assists) took advantage with three-pointers of their own.

While Japan started hot, they only owned a one-point lead at quarter-time thanks to the work of Daniel Kickert and Matt Hodgson under the rim who connected on a couple of sweet hooks.

Kickert maintained his momentum with a lay-up early in the second term which was followed by a technical foul to the Japanese coach and two more free-throws for the big man.

That sparked a 16-7 run for the Boomers as they took control of the contest with Mitch Norton and Hodgson continuing to attack the basket.

Three-second calls seemed to be the only thing stopping the Aussies but their defence also tightened up, restricting Japan to just 3-13 shooting for the quarter and when Cadee connected with Mitch McCarron (seven points, five rebounds) from half-court for a spectacular alley-oop play, the Boomers led by 11 at half-time.

Japan were scoreless for the first three minutes out of the main break but Ira Brown led the comeback with eight points for the third period and he momentarily trimmed the deficit to single-digits.

Cadee (13 points, five assists) silenced the fightback though with a three-pointer off a nice out of bounds set though and he then found Mitch Creek (ten points, six boards, three assists) on the fast break with a brilliant cutting pass.

Kay (seven points) put the finishing touches on the term with five straight including a three before Kickert (11 points, four rebounds, five assists) got in on the long-range game just prior to the buzzer as the Boomers moved ahead by 21.

The game then ran its course in the final quarter and while Japan took the term by five points, Brandt (seven points, nine boards) and Hodgson (11 points, 12 rebounds) continued to dominate inside as they pushed Australia's rebounding edge out to 44-16.

Hodgson also pulled down six offensive rebounds for the contest compared to Japan's total of four although the side will be keen to tone down their turnovers after tallying 19.

Find the full box score here.

Australia will next hit the court on Thursday night against Hong Kong with all the action LIVE and ad-free thanks to Fox Sports.

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

August 10: Australia vs. Hong Kong at 11pm (Fox Sports ch. 507)
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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