Aussies Abroad: Opals, Boomers in fight for championship glory

Aussies Abroad: Opals, Boomers in fight for championship glory

Australian Boomers duo Patty Mills and Aron Baynes are heading back to the NBA Western Conference Finals after helping their San Antonio Spurs secure a 4-1 series win over the Portland Trailblazers in the Western Conference Semi Finals.

Holding a commanding 3-1 series lead heading into Thursday’s Game 5, the Spurs were rocked by an early injury to star guard Tony Parker. The fear quickly subsided as Mills stepped to the plate, posting a career playoff high of 18 points in 26 minutes to ensure a 104-82 win and send the Spurs to a third consecutive Western Conference Finals series.

After a quiet series against Dallas, Mills was a standout against the Trailblazers, averaging 11 points per game at 57% shooting from beyond the arc in more than 14 minutes per game.

The series against Portland was also a winner for Baynes, who are just six minutes of action in the Dallas series, played in all five games against the Trailblazers.

Boomers veteran David Andersen and his Strasbourg team face a defining Game 3 in their quarter final series in the French Pro A league on Saturday morning against Chalon.

Andersen was the standout in the Game 1 93-82 win, posting 17 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists for the top-seeds, but had to watch on as Chalon returned fire, winning Game 2 91-81 despite 10 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists from the 33-year-old.

Staying in France, Jayco Australian Opals centre Marianna Tolo begins her quest for the LFB French League title in the early hours of Monday morning, when her Bourges team face Lattes Montpellier in Game 1 of the their final series.

Finishing the season with a 24-2 record, Bourges cruised through the semi-final stage and will be out to cap off a brilliant season that saw them reach the semi-final stage of the Euroleague Women’s competition.

The WNBA season gets underway this weekend, with Jayco Opals stars Penny Taylor and Erin Phillips teaming up at the Phoenix Mercury for the 2014 campaign. The star duo will be hoping to lead the Mercury to their third WNBA Championship, with many experts expecting the star-studded team to be among the favourites to take home the title come seasons end.

CLICK HERE to check out all the latest ahead of the WNBA season.

Boomers star Joe Ingles is through to the semi-finals of the Israeli Winners League as his Maccabi Tel-Aviv secured passage, defeating Galil Gilboa 3-1 in their best-of-five quarter final match-up.

Ingles’ focus now turns to Milan in Italy for the 2014 Euroleague Final Four, where Maccabi Tel-Aviv face Russian powerhouse CSKA Moscow in their semi-final. Watch Ingles look to win his first Euroleague title LIVE on Eurosport at 2:00am AEDT on Saturday.

CLICK HERE to read more about Ingles and his Euroleague weekend ahead.

Spanish-based Boomers swingman Brad Newley had 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting as his Gran Canaria all but secured fifth position in the Liga Endesa standings with a 79-57 win over Gipuzkoa on Monday.

Newley and his Canary Island based team now face Unicaja in the penultimate round of competition – the team they look set to meet at the quarter final stage of the Liga Endesa playoffs.