Boomers fightback falls short in Argentina

Boomers fightback falls short in Argentina

A slow start derailed any hope that Australia’s men’s basketball team might topple Athens gold medallists Argentina in Bahia Blanca today.

Trailing by 30 points in the first half the Boomers reduced the margin to 14 points in the final quarter on the back of three consecutive three-point shots by Joe Ingles before time expired with the final score, 98-78.

Ingles top scored for Australia with 22 points while Dallas Mavericks forward Nathan Jawai toiled hard for 19 points and 8 rebounds in an Australian team featuring five players on debut.

Australian U19 Emus captain Matthew Dellavedova was the most impressive of the Boomers debutantes with 13 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals in a back-up role to starting point guard Adam Gibson.

“We got jumped at the start and it felt like Argentina didn’t miss a shot in the first half,” Boomers head coach Brett Brown said.

“Individual containment wasn’t a problem but as a team, defensively we were poor.

“We had no pace, no rhythm, our timing was off and there was uncertainty, but you do expect that to some extent with a new group.

“But in a hostile stadium against a multiple medal winning country we didn’t roll over, there were no heads down, and our guys deserve credit for that showing of spirit.

“We have a long road to get to where we want to go, but we are improving and we’ll be ready for New Zealand on August 23rd.”

The Boomers are using the six game tour of Argentina and Brazil to prepare for the 2009 FIBA Oceania Championship in Sydney (August 23) and Wellington (August 25), where 2010 FIBA World Championship seeding is on the line.

Quarter by quarter:

1. ARG 29 AUS 15
H. ARG 55 AUS 32 (26-17)
3. ARG 75 AUS 58 (20-26)
F. ARG 98 AUS 78 (23-20)

ARGENTINA 98 bt
AUSTRALIA 78 (Joe Ingles 22, Nathan Jawai 19, Matthew Dellavedova 13)
in Bahia Blanca, Argentina

Note: Boxscore currently unavailable