Playing at the Liugang Gymnasium in Liuzhou against the 21st-ranked team in the world, the Boomers (ranked 11th globally) were troubled by Iran but still improved to a perfect 3-0 record to qualify for the tournament’s Final on Sunday night as the highest-ranked team.
Australia will now play Slovenia in the Championship Game at 7:30PM local time (9:30PM AEDT) on Sunday, after the Slovenians defeated China in Friday night’s other game to improve to 2-1 for the tournament. Australia defeated Slovenia, 77-63, on Thursday night and will head into the final as the hot favourites to win their second Stankovic Continental Cup in two years.
Patrick Mills again led the Australian scoring effort with a team-high 16 points, while David Andersen added 13 and Joe Ingles 12.
Boomers’ head coach Brett Brown said his team underestimated the Iranians.
"We came out too complacent,” said Brown. “That’s something that cannot happen again. There is no margin for error at the World Championships. It was a good lesson to learn for the team.
“You’ve got to give Iran credit. They forced us to go small. I don’t like doing that but we ended the game with four perimeter guys and David Andersen. Their guards hurt us, our bigs got in foul trouble and we were having a difficult time defending them, so we decided to go small. We were lucky to pull away at that stage with some Joe Ingles’ threes and Patty Mills’ layups.”
Australian veteran forward Matt Nielsen did not play due to a corked left thigh suffered the night before in the Boomers’ win over Slovenia.
The Stankovic Continental Cup is an integral part of the Boomers’ preparations for the 2010 FIBA World Championships in Turkey from 28 August to 12 September.
Video highlights of the match can be found at: http://bscup.tom.com/
Action photos can be found at: http://bscup.tom.com/2010-07-30/0PRP/34442142_12.html
The official English-version event website is at: http://bscup.tom.com/english/index.html
Australian Boomers 69 defeated Iran 60
Stankovic Continental Cup – Game 3
Liugang Gymnasium, Liuzhou, China
1st Quarter AUS 20, SLO 13
2nd Quarter AUS 14, SLO 13
3rd Quarter AUS 18, SLO 23
4th Quarter AUS 17, SLO 11
AUS – P. Mills 16, D. Andersen 13, J. Ingles 12
SLO – O. Sahakian 16, Bahrami 14, A. Kardoust 10