SHORT-HANDED BOOMERS BOOK SEMI-FINAL BERTH AT FIBA ASIA CUP

SHORT-HANDED BOOMERS BOOK SEMI-FINAL BERTH AT FIBA ASIA CUP

The Australian Boomers have put a four-day break behind them to overcome China 97-71 in the FIBA Asia Cup Quarter-Finals, advancing to Saturday's Semi-Finals despite having just ten healthy men on the roster.

With David Andersen already back home due to a shoulder injury, Cam Gliddon was a late scratching from the Quarter-Final due to a foot injury.

Gliddon had shot 7-16 from the three-point line through the tournament but his absence did not hurt Australia's long-range game as they pounded China from beyond the arc on 12-24 shooting as a team.

With the match tied midway through the third quarter, China were playing a physical style of game but they found themselves in foul trouble and had to back off the Boomers slightly.

That opened up opportunities which Jason Cadee (a game-high 20 points) took full advantage of, knocking down two three-pointers for eight points in the term before Mitch Creek and Mitch McCarron drilled consecutive triples to open up a healthy buffer.

A stunning hustle play from Nick Kay (seven points) then saw the big man save a ball from going out of bounds and his efforts set up McCarron for an athletic lay-up as Australia finished the third period on a 14-0 run to open up a game-high 16-point lead.

China had made a habit of going on runs early in quarters and they scored the first four points of the final term to breathe some life into their game but McCarron (17 points, four steals) squashed any home of a comeback with another dagger from long range.

That sparked another 14-0 streak and Daniel Kickert (16 points, four assists) put the icing on the cake as Australia ran out convincing winners in the end.

While the Boomers were down two men at the start of the game, Matt Hodgson (nine points, six offensive boards) made a welcome return into the starting line-up and he immediately set the tone with a huge swat into the crowd on a Chinese lay-up attempt.

With a four-day break coming into the Quarter-Final, the Boomers were a little rusty though and they had to shake off a couple of cobwebs early as China's full court press gave them some trouble.

After a 9-16 opening, Cadee was able to settle things down with a three-pointer before he fed Creek on a perfectly executed fast break and all of a sudden, Australia had put together 11 straight points.

Creek (16 points, five rebounds, three steals) notched double-figures by quarter-time as he relentlessly attacked the basket and as the game hit its first break, the Boomers had come all the way back to lead by three.

Guo Ailun was not going to let Australia have all the momentum though with the Chinese excitement machine drilling a three-pointer right in front of the Boomers' bench while also showing off his superior ball-handling.

Creek, Cadee, McCarron and Mitch Norton (two points, three assists, three steals) all took turns with the defensive task on Guo but his team mates were able to back him up with the 16-time Asia Cup Champions shooting 5-10 from distance on the half.

However, Angus Brandt (six points) stepped up at the other end of the floor, showing off his moves in the post and then back-to-back steals from McCarron (17 points, four steals) and Todd Blanchfield enabled the Boomers to once again have a slight 45-42 buffer at half-time.

Maintaining the rhythm of the game, Han Dejun brought the intensity in the third quarter as China made another run with the centre smacking a Kickert shot out of bounds while also bodying up Hodgson in the post to tie the game.

However, that physical nature proved detrimental to China's game and with the floor opening up for the Boomers, they took full control with a scintillating shooting display.

Find the full box score here.

Australia now await the result of New Zealand/Jordan's Quarter-Final clash to find out their opponent.

Stay tuned to Basketball Australia's social media channels for updates on the Boomers' next opponent as well as game time.

The Boomers Schedule for the FIBA Asia Cup:

August 19: Semi-Finals
August 20: Bronze and Gold medal games

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