Brilliant Boomers claim defining win over Lithuania

Brilliant Boomers claim defining win over Lithuania

It was a performance for the ages as the Airbnb Australian Boomers produced an inspired four-quarter effort to defeat Lithuania 82-75 at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Gran Canaria, Spain in the early hours of this morning.

In a memorable performance by the Australians, a 19-point half time lead was reduced to three points late in the third quarter, but never surrendered as the Boomers came up big in the final stretch to defeat the 2013 Eurobasket finalists.

The Airbnb Boomers were electric from the tip, dropping 30 first-quarter points on their way to big 47-28 lead at the main break before Lithuania doubled their total in the third quarter to cut the margin to just six points.

Against the fast-finishing Europeans, the Australians stood resolute, finding big time contributions from Brad Newley, David Andersen, Nathan Jawai and Matthew Dellavedova down the stretch to hold on for the key victory.

The defensive pressure of the Boomers was a highlight throughout the 40 minutes, forcing the Lithuanians into 22 turnovers, including five from their NBA star Jonah Valanciunas.

Australian Airbnb Boomers Head Coach Andrej Lemanis said the defensive efforts of his team played a major role in the final result.

“I thought we came out as planned – very aggressive and disruptive defensively,” Lemanis said.

“Our guys did a great job forcing some turnovers and getting a flow for us going early – we forced them into 22 turnovers and that ignited some of our offense.

“We didn’t do that as well in the second half and they showed that if you don’t disrupt them they are very good offensively and they are hard to play against.

“I was pleased with the way we managed (the game). They were always going to make a run and we did a good job of playing out the game, finding a way to win.”

Joe Ingles continued his outstanding start to the tournament, posting a team-high 18 points on 7-of-11 from the field to go with four assists and three steals.

The 26-year-old found plenty of support through the again-dominant Aron Baynes (14 points and six rebounds), Dellavedova (13 points), Newley (10 points and four rebounds) and Andersen (seven points and five rebounds).

A red-hot Boomers raced out of the gate, with Baynes scoring 10 of the team’s first 15 points as they established a commanding 17-4 lead inside the first five minutes.

Ingles took up where his compatriot left off, closing the quarter with nine points (4-of-4 FG), with the Boomers posting a mammoth 30 points to lead the stunned Lithuanians by 10.

The scoring began to dry up for both teams after the break, with Lithuania cutting the lead to single digits before Baynes and Ingles again took control, starting a 14-2 run that would give the Boomers a 47-28 lead at half time.

Ingles ensured the Boomers would go off full of confidence, dropping a massive stepback three-pointer on the buzzer to make it 14 points for the half.

It was frustrating half for the Group D favourites, committing 15 turnovers led by Valanciunas, who had four of his own and zero points – unable to match the unstoppable Baynes.

Third quarter comebacks have become a staple for Lithuania in this tournament and this was no different against the Boomers, going on a 10-0 run to start the third quarter and cut the deficit to less than 10 points.

Australia would rally thanks to a Dellavedova three and massive three-point play from Andersen, but would again be under attack in a rollercoaster quarter of basketball.

The lead was cut to just three points courtesy of a 14-2 run by the Europeans as they upped the pressure on the Boomers, forcing seven turnovers.

A 7-2 mini revival restored some breathing space heading into the final quarter, where Newley would come to the fore as buckets became increasingly difficult to come by.

The 29-year-old veteran of three FIBA Basketball World Cups was at his aggressive best at both ends of the floor, scoring five of the team’s first seven points of the quarter, while forcing several turnovers through his manic ball pressure.

This momentum would help the Airbnb Boomers push the lead to 10 points on a Ryan Broekhoff three-pointer with little over three minutes remaining, but Lithuania still had a final charge in them.

A 9-3 run had them back within four points inside the final minute, but the Australians would hold on for victory and keep their hopes of topping the group alive.

Next up for the Airbnb Boomers at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup is a clash with Mexico TONIGHT with the game televised LIVE on ABC2 at 9:30pm AEST.

Boxscore and Group Standings

Airbnb Australian Boomers 82-75 Lithuania
1Q: 30-20
2Q: 47-28
3Q: 62-56
4Q: 82-75

For the latest 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup broadcast information please check your local ABC and ABC2 guides.

Airbnb Australian Boomers FIBA Basketball World Cup Fixture

Airbnb Boomers 80-90 Slovenia

Airbnb Boomers 89-55 Korea

Airbnb Boomers 82-75 Lithuania

Airbnb Boomers v Mexico
Wednesday 3 September @ Gran Canaria Arena 9:30pm
TV: LIVE on ABC2 at 9:26pm (Vic, NSW, Qld, Tas, ACT); 8:56pm (SA, NT); 7:26pm (WA)
Live Stats

Airbnb Boomers v Angola
Thursday 4 September @ Gran Canaria Arena 9:30pm
TV: LIVE on ABC2 at 9:26pm (Vic, NSW, Qld, Tas, ACT); 8:56pm (SA, NT); 7:26pm (WA)
Live Stats

*(All times subject to change)

Airbnb Australian Boomers Team – 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup

David Andersen – Strasbourg (France)
Cameron Bairstow – Chicago Bulls (NBA)
Aron Baynes – San Antonio Spurs (NBA)
Ryan Broekhoff – Besiktas (Turkey)
Matthew Dellavedova – Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA)
Dante Exum – Utah Jazz (NBA)
Adam Gibson – Adelaide 36ers (NBL)
Chris Goulding – CAI Zaragoza (Spain)
Joe Ingles – Maccabi Tel-Aviv (Israel)
Nathan Jawai – Galatasaray (Turkey)
Brock Motum – Bologna (Italy)
Brad Newley – Gran Canaria (Spain)

Coaching Staff

Head Coach: Andrej Lemanis
Assistant Coaches: Luc Longley and Trevor Gleeson
Mentor Coach: Dr Adrian Hurley
Technical Assistant Coach: Mick Downer

For all the latest from the Airbnb Boomers 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup campaign be sure to visit the BA website at www.basketball.net.au.