Five changes have been made to the team from the Boomers’ last window with Matt Hodgson, Mitch Norton and Jesse Wagstaff returning to the side while Todd Blanchfield and Daniel Johnson will make their FIBA World Cup qualifiers debuts.
Blanchfield was a member of the Boomers’ gold medal-winning team at the FIBA Asia Cup last year where he averaged 5.7 points per game at 46% shooting while Johnson’s inclusion follows a stellar NBL season that saw him earn All-NBL First Team honours with 16.3 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.
“It’s great for both Todd and Daniel to have this opportunity,” said Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis.
“Todd knows the Boomers system and culture from the FIBA Asia Cup campaign and will slot straight back in to the group.
“Daniel had a tremendous NBL season and has been a member of the extended squad for every window – I’m pleased for him that he now comes in to the 12 and we all look forward to working with him.”
Six NBL clubs are represented in the Boomers team with four players from the Perth Wildcats, three from the Adelaide 36ers, two Brisbane Bullets and a representative each from the Illawarra Hawks, Melbourne United and Sydney Kings.
“As has been proven over the first three windows, one of our greatest advantages is our depth,” said Lemanis.
“We have an ability to sustain a level of play and intensity over the full 40 minutes because we can rely on all 12 guys – and when you consider that we continually alter the make-up of the team it speaks volumes to the depth of talent we have in this country and the standard of play we have in the NBL.
“Every player is fully committed to the good of the team – there are no personal agendas – it is an absolute honour and privilege to be associated with every one of the players.”
Having finished on top of their group at the end of the first round of qualifiers, Australia now cross-over to compete against Qatar, Kazakhstan and Iran.
They will play six games in the newly formed Group F in three series of home-and-away games.
Points carry over from results in the first round and at the conclusion of the second round in late February 2019, the top three teams from Group F will qualify for the 2019 FIBA World Cup which will be held in China from August 31-September 15.
“These opponents have slightly different styles from what we experienced during the first round, they tend to have more of an inside focus and more power to their game,” said Lemanis.
“But we believe we are versatile, it’s one of our strengths, and we have the ability to get the game at a tempo that suits us rather than our opposition.”
The Boomers will follow their clash against Qatar on September 13 with a home game in Bendigo against Kazakhstan on September 17.
They will then play a double-header at Margaret Court Arena in late November and early December against Iran and Qatar and tickets for all three home games can be purchased here.
The Australian Boomers Schedule for the second round of FIBA World Cup qualifiers (all times AEST):
September 14: Australia vs. Qatar in Doha at 1am.
September 17: Australia vs. Kazakhstan at Bendigo Stadium, Victoria at 7pm.
November 30: Australia vs. Iran at Margaret Court Arena, Victoria. Time TBA.
December 3: Australia vs. Qatar at Margaret Court Arena, Victoria. Time TBA.
February 21: Australia vs. Kazakhstan. Time TBA.
February 24: Australia vs. Iran. Time TBA.
The Australian Boomers Team for the FIBA World Cup qualifier vs. Qatar on September 13:
|Todd Blanchfield||Illawarra Hawks|
|Angus Brandt||Perth Wildcats|
|Jason Cadee||Brisbane Bullets|
|Anthony Drmic||Adelaide 36ers|
|Matthew Hodgson||Brisbane Bullets|
|Daniel Johnson||Adelaide 36ers|
|Nicholas Kay||Perth Wildcats|
|Kevin Lisch||Sydney Kings|
|Mitch McCarron||Melbourne United|
|Mitch Norton||Perth Wildcats|
|Nathan Sobey||Adelaide 36ers|
|Jesse Wagstaff||Perth Wildcats|