Aussies Abroad: Must-win for Cambage in China

Aussies Abroad: Must-win for Cambage in China

Jayco Australian Opals star Liz Cambage and her Beijing team face a must-win Game 4 of the WCBA Finals in China on Tuesday night after suffering back-to-back defeats.

Coming off a 48-point and 21-rebound outing in the Game 1 win for Beijing, Cambage backed it up in Game 2 with 38 points (15-of-15 FG), 9 rebounds and 4 assists in the 97-90 loss. This was compacted in Game 3 as Shanxi recorded a 91-83 victory, holding Cambage to 30 points and 10 rebounds.

The Opals centre is averaging 39 points and 13 rebounds in the three games, but will need another performance like in Game 1 to ensure the series goes to a deciding fifth game.

The Australian influence in the NBA continues, with Australian Boomers and San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills continuing to impress in the absence of Tony Parker. Mills had 11 points in 21 minutes as the Spurs defeated Detroit 120-110 on Thursday before posting 14 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists in 29 minutes in the 92-82 win over Charlotte on Saturday.

The 25-year-old has caught the eye of many NBA experts during the past month, with ESPN expert Amin Elhassan ranking Mills among the top 30 free agents available in the upcoming NBA off-season.

Minutes may decline for Mills, with Parker making his return on Monday in the win over Texas rivals Dallas.

Staying in the NBA, Matthew Dellavedova is riding high as the Cleveland Cavaliers look to make a charge at the playoffs, winning 8 of their past 12 games.

Delly saw extended playing time in Saturday’s 99-79 win over the Utah Jazz, playing 26 minutes in the victory, posting 9 points and 5 assists. The Boomers guard saw 20 minutes for 5 points and 4 assists in the 110-96 loss to Memphis on Sunday.

Such has been the impact of Dellavedova that he has caught the eye of experts league-wide, ranking 13th amongst NBA rookies in ESPN’s most recent top 50 ranking. The 23-year-old is ranked higher than a host of players taken ahead of him in the 2013 NBA Draft, including number 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett.

Andrew Bogut’s return from a shoulder injury continues to gather momentum, while his team struggles for consistency, posting 4 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks in Monday’s 104-98 loss to the Toronto Raptors.

The New Mexico Lobos celebrated joining the NCAA top 30 by recording two impressive wins over Utah State and Nevada. Cameron Bairstow had 14 points and 11 rebounds, while fellow Aussie Hugh Greenwood had 9 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists in the 67-58 win over Utah State.

They backed this up on Monday, with Bairstow dropping 22 points in the 72-58 road win over Nevada, ensuring their stay equal top of the Mountain West Conference heading into the final stretch of their regular season.

See the Australians in action as the Lobos face Air Force on Thursday LIVE on ESPN2 from 1:00pm AEDT.

Majok Majok has returned to his best after injury sidelined him in February, posting 14 points and 14 rebounds in a rare Ball State Cardinals win, defeating Central Michigan 74-71 on Sunday to take their record to 5-22 on the season.

A stat sheet-stuffing effort from Venky Jois could not the stop Eastern Washington from going down 69-67 to North Dakota on Sunday. Jois had 22 points, 11 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks.

In Europe Natalie Hurst was at her free-scoring best to lead Canik Belediyesi to a 75-69 win over Ceyhan BLD in Turkey, posting a game-high 27points. Marianna Tolo continues to post impressive numbers in France, dropping 14 points and 8 rebounds in the thumping 96-48 win over Mondeville on Sunday.

Boomers swingman Brad Newley had 13 points and 4 rebounds as Gran Canaria suffered a 60-53 loss on Monday, while Brock Motum had 13 points and 3 rebounds as Bologna went down 89-85 in overtime to Virtus RM.