Boomers Go Down In Over Time Thriller
Russia have defeated the Australian Boomers in over time in the first match of the Boris Stankovic Cup in China.
The Boomers trailed for most of the night and found themselves down by 12 at the start of the final quarter, but after a dramatic last quarter, which saw the Boomers outscore the Russians 29-17 the match was forced to overtime.
However it was the Russians who prevailed in the extra period, eventually winning the match 99-97.
Mark Worthington was easily the most productive Aussie player with 25 points, while Peter Crawford also played well, racking up 17 points, but it wasn’t enough for the Boomers.
“We had some lapses defensively, which was the most disappointing part of the game. But we pressed, and to the fellas credit, we got back in the game but we just couldn’t close it out at the end,” said Boomers coach Brett Brown.
“I was proud of the guys, it was a great game and this was a strong Russian team.”
The Boomers struggled to match the physicality of the Russians early in the match and were always behind the eight ball. The Boomers struggled to deal with the height and power of Kasilov Kashirov, who scored 31 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the match. Igor Smygin was also impressive, adding 17 points.
“The Russians did a good job of running on-ball screens, and I think we did an average to poor job of defending it. I think we need to learn from that,” Brown said.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for some of these players. We have New Zealand in September and it’s just great to play against a fantastic nation this early. And we’re seeing some real positive signs along the way.”
Australia’s next opponents in the Stankovic Cup will be 2008 winners Angola, before they meet hosts China. Australia will need to win both matches, if they are to assure themselves a place in the semi-finals of the tournament.
Australia finished as runner up in last year’s tournament after winning in 2009.