BOOMERS WIN TRANS-TASMAN CLASH TO ADVANCE TO FIBA ASIA CUP FINAL

BOOMERS WIN TRANS-TASMAN CLASH TO ADVANCE TO FIBA ASIA CUP FINAL

The Australian Boomers have utilised a blistering start to carry them to a 106-79 victory over New Zealand in the FIBA Asia Cup Semi-Final and in the process, advance to tomorrow's gold medal game.

Despite the removal of the Oceania Championship, these teams still found themselves meeting at the Asia Cup although Australia and New Zealand were sporting thoroughly different sides than when they last met in 2015.

The Tall Blacks were in for a rude shock though as the Boomers started the game on fire, courtesy of Jason Cadee, who carried over his from from the Quarter-Final with an early three-pointer, as well as centre Matt Hodgson.

He tallied six points, three rebounds and two blocks in the first five minutes before Mitch Creek (13 points, three steals) got in on the act as well and by the time he tallied nine points, Australia had opened the game with an astounding 22-2 run.

By quarter-time, they had shot 12-19 from the field which included perfect 3-3 long-range shooting for a 21-point lead to stun their Trans-Tasman counterparts.

Following that onslaught, New Zealand finally settled and kicked off the second period with a 9-2 run.

However, their struggles in containing the Boomers front court continued as offensive rebounds from Nick Kay gave the Aussies second chance opportunities that kept the margin easily in double-digits.

Shea Ili broke free and notched double-figures for the Tall Blacks to give them some life but Cadee (13 points, five assists) responded in kind and when Mitch McCarron (eight points) connected on an and-one play just prior to half-time, ten Boomers were on the scoreboard to give them a 46-33 lead.

The Aussies continued to look to their size advantage in the paint out of the main break and Hodgson (15 points, six boards) went to work as he showed off some impressive moves while finishing through contact.

The aggression ramped up at both ends of the floor, forcing New Zealand into the bonus after just two and a half minutes but the Aussies followed suit only 20 seconds later with the free-throw chances balanced out.

Brad Newley (eight points, three assists) joined the and-one count with a slashing move of his own and as his shot dropped, every Boomer had hit the scoreboard and the news then got worse for the Tall Blacks with Ili splitting the webbing on his hand.

Requiring stitches, he took no further part in the contest as his side fell behind by 19 at the last change.

The game was then put to bed by Daniel Kickert (13 points, six rebounds) and Kay (11 points, ten rebounds) who applied the finishing touches by slamming home a couple of baskets to record his double-double.

The Boomers shot 55% from the field for the game including 9-18 from distance while tallying 29 assists on 40 field goals and committing a miserly 11 turnovers.

Find the full box score here.

Australia now take on the winner of Iran/Korea in the FIBA Asia Cup gold medal game at 4am AEST Monday morning (pending a game-time change similar to the Semi-Final).

Stay tuned to Basketball Australia's social media channels for any updates.

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

August 21: Gold medal game vs. Iran/Korea at 4am.

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