Gallant Boomers need to quickly regroup

Gallant Boomers need to quickly regroup

Australia need to quickly pick themselves up for a vital match against Germany in less than 24 hours' time after suffering a heart-breaking 74-72 loss to world No.1 Argentina at the basketball world championships in Turkey.

The Boomers led all the way until the final quarter when the South American superpowers finally got their noses in front, but Australian guard Adam Gibson had an open three-point shot on the buzzer to beat the world's top-ranked team that refused to go in.

It was a cruel ending for the upstart young Boomers, who were lucky to escape with a one-point win over Jordan in their opening game but were outstanding in game two and would have been the only unbeaten team left in Group A if they had prevailed.

But that honour now goes to the Argentines, one of the favourites for the gold medal, with Australia joining four other teams with a 1-1 record in an extremely tight group.

Coach Brett Brown will need to quickly rally his deflated troops to face the Germans on Monday (0200 Tuesday AEST), a match they need to win to give themselves the best chance of reaching the knockout stages with a high seeding.

"We're very disappointed to lose that game," Brown said afterwards.

"We felt like we came in against Jordan and didn't play well at all.

"I'm happy for our players because they've put in an awful lot of work and I feel like tonight validates all the work they've put in and the type of players they can be.

"We felt like we could've closed that game out when we had a lead, but it's always hard to do that against Argentina and they found a way to get back in it and take a win, so we congratulate them."

After a poor opening game, Joe Ingles produced perhaps his best game ever in the green and gold, finishing with a team-high 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting, while Patty Mills also impressed with 21 points and five assists.

But the Australians couldn't find a way to stop NBA superstar Luis Scola, who terrorised the Boomers throughout the match to lead all scorers with 31 points.

The underdog Aussies showed impressive character in a game few gave them a chance to win.

They led 39-33 at halftime and stretched their advantage to double figures, 53-43, with 4:07 left in the third quarter.

Argentina used their vast experience and cooler heads to grab a six-point lead deep into the final term, but Australia refused to buckle and tied the game on a Mills three-pointer with 54 seconds left before Gibson's desperate shot just rimmed out.

"If you ask me, Australia played better than Argentina," Argentine coach Sergio Hernandez said.

"We had a better five minutes at the end, but apart from that they played better than us."

AAP / James Dampney