Jet setting with the Boomers

Jet setting with the Boomers

Olympians David Andersen and Matt Nielsen, along with Boomers squad member Andrew Ogilvy, have helped their teams to vital victories in overseas competition this week. Combining that with the return of popular point guard Patty Mills and remembering the NBL Grand Finals and you’ll find mountains of motivation to keep an eye on Australia’s elite.

Dave Andersen scored a game high 22 points on 6-of-9 shooting with 3-of-6 three-pointers to go along with 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block in Regal Barcelona's 90-79 victory over archrivals Real Madrid in front of a sellout crowd at Palau Blaugrana in the Spanish superclassic on Wednesday night.

The victory
ensures Barcelona advances to the EuroLeague Quarterfinal Playoffs and currently sees them atop the Top 16 Group F standings, tied with Real Madrid in the standings with 4-1 records, but ahead on a tiebreak advantage. Barcelona will win Group F if it beats Maccabi Electra in Tel Aviv next week.

Boomers Captain Matt Nielsen scored 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting with equal team highs in rebounding (5) and assists (3) in Pamesa Valencia's 82-80 victory over Red Star Belgrade at the Fuente de San Luis Pavilion in Spain on Tuesday night. WATCH post-game VIDEO

The victory ensures Pamesa Valencia's entry it to the Eurocup Final Eight for the second consecutive season, a multinational club competition just below the EuroLeague. Pamesa are 4-1 in Group K, enough to seal its ticket to Turin in early April. Pamesa will finish first - and face BC Khimki in the Eurocup quarterfinals - if it beats Hemofarm Stada in Vrsac next week or loses by up to 4 points. If Hemofarm beats Pamesa by more than 5 points, Pamesa will be second and will face Dynamo Moscow in the quarterfinals.

Going stateside, 20-year old Boomers squad member AJ Ogilvy has hit some fine form late in the American college regular season. AJ posted a career high 33 points on 12-of-17 shooting with 9-of-14 free throws with 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks in a game MVP performance and victory against No.12 ranked LSU on Thursday, 75-67. HEAR AUDIO That came on the back of a short-lived career high 28 point performance on 12-of-15 shooting with 5 rebounds and 4 blocks in a 96-83 victory over South Carolina last Saturday.

Finally, spirits have soared in Moraga, California with news that Patty Mills hit the court for some shooting and dribbling practice just hours after doctors gave him an all-clear on Tuesday, the bone in his hand now healed.

After a five-week, 9-game layoff, fans will have to wait until Monday, Australian Eastern time, to gauge the impact of Patty's return on the No.2 WCC ranked St. Mary's College Gaels, who open the West Coast Conference tournament against either No. 3 Portland, No. 6 Pepperdine, or No. 7 San Francisco, depending on results.

Want some more Boomers news from closer to home?

Look no further than the best-of-five NBL Grand Final series between South Dragons and Melbourne Tigers. The Dragons won Game 1 on its home floor on Wednesday, 93-81, with Game 2 set for Friday night and Game 3 set for Sunday night.

DRAGONS:

Olympian, and Dragons Captain, Mark Worthington posted a game MVP performance in the opening match of the series with 23 points on 6-of-11 shooting with 10 rebounds and 2 assists. Olympian Joe Ingles had 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting including 3 three-pointers to go along with 3 steals, 2 assists and 2 blocks. Boomers squad member Adam Gibson had 10 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist while running the point. Boomers squad member Matt Burston had 13 points on 6-of-12 shooting with 7 rebounds and 2 blocks going up against dual Olympian Chris Anstey. Two-time Olympic coach Brian Goorjian, the first and only coach to win five NBL Championships (Phil Smyth won three as a player and three as a coach) got his 18th win from 38 Grand Finals games on Wednesday. This is his 13th trip to the Grand Final and his sixth appearance in the last seven years.

TIGERS:

Two-time Olympian Chris Anstey tallied 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting with 9 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block in Game 1. Olympian David Barlow had 13 points on 4-of-15 shooting with 8 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal. Boomers squad member Luke Kendall had 4 points on 1-of-8 shooting with 1 assist and 1 block.

By Bill Baxter for BA Media