Boomers go down in nail biter to France

Boomers go down in nail biter to France

After a dramatic fight-back in their second game of the London International Basketball Invitational, the official London Olympic basketball test event, the Australian Boomers have gone down to a star-studded French team this morning, losing in a tight game 71-67.

Lead by NBA superstar and San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker, who finished with a game-high 27 points, the French team hung on despite a strong fight back from the Aussies. 

Boasting a number of other NBA stars, including Chicago Bulls centre Joakim Noah, and Nicolas Batum of the Portland Trailblazers (16 points, 6 rebounds), the match-up was always going to test the Aussies. 

It was a test they were ready for. Behind their own NBA star player Patty Mills, who finished with 20 points of his own, the Boomers pushed the French side from the opening tip, getting their noses in front a number of times throughout the opening half. 

France settled after half time and built a solid lead in the third term, getting out by as many as 13 points at one stage. 

But the Aussies rallied again, with Mills, Newley, Dellavedova and Nielsen all combining in the fourth to bring the Boomers back in the game. And following a Patty Mills free throw late in the contest, the Aussies trailed by only one point with 11 seconds left on the clock. 

With the game up for grabs, the Aussies were simply unable to get a look at a game-winning shot, Tony Parker sealing the win for the French side from the free throw line down the stretch.

“It was a fantastic effort particularly defensively,” said Boomers head coach Brett Brown of the team’s performance.

“To hold that team, with the talent that they have to 71 points was a great effort by our guys.” 

The game saw the return of Patty Mills to form, the playmaker being one of the keys to the Boomers’ success as they look ahead to the FIBA Oceania Championship against New Zealand which tips off September 7.

“I thought Patty was excellent for effectively his first game,” he said.

“We started a group that haven’t played together. We sat a lot of our starters in the game against China so that we could balance the minutes across seven games in an 11 game schedule. So this was really the first time that the starting five played a game together and I thought that they did a good job of controlling the group,” he said.

“We want to squeeze as much out of our group as we can to get better, and I think today was a positive step towards getting ourselves better and better prepared for September 7,” he said.

Australian Boomers 67 (Mills 20, Newley 11) def by France 71 (Parker 27, Batum 16)

Box Score