Boomers downed by Slovenia in Stankovic Final

Boomers downed by Slovenia in Stankovic Final

The Golden Star Australian Boomers men’s national basketball team have been narrowly defeated in the Final of the 2010 Stankovic Continental Cup by Slovenia 71-60 at the Liugang Gymnasium in Liuzhou, China.

Joe Ingles and David Andersen top-scored for the Boomers with 14 points apiece. Mark Worthington and Aron Baynes each added six points and Damian Martin and David Barlow five apiece.   For Slovenia Sani Becirovic had a game-high 20 points.

Australia struggled to connect from the field in the final, making just 19-of-58 shots and 5-of-23 three-pointers.  With veteran big man Matt Nielsen unavailable for the final due to a corked thigh, they were also outrebounded 31-26.

The loss was the first for the Boomers in four matches in China, after earlier having defeated Slovenia in the preliminary round, 77-63, on Thursday.

The Boomers’ NBA pairing of Patrick Mills and David Andersen were both named to the All-Tournament Team.

The Boomers had been hoping to defend their tournament title, after having defeated Turkey in the final last year to claim their first Stankovic Continental Cup.

Boomers’ head coach Brett Brown said turnovers hurt the Australians.

“You have to give credit to the Slovenians, they played well tonight,” said Brown. “We simply gave up way too many turnovers.  You can live with your key guys failing to connect on a single three all game, but when you’re giving up 18 turnovers in a game that’s just way too much to expect to win at this level.

“It’s an important lesson for us as we move on to the World Championships,” Brown added.  “If you throw the ball around the gym, like we did tonight, you just can’t expect to win games against quality international opposition.”

In the earlier game, China defeated Iran 76-58 to secure a third-place finish in the tournament.

The Stankovic Continental Cup is a crucial part of the Boomers’ preparations for the 2010 FIBA World Championships, which will be held in Turkey from 28 August to 12 September. 

Video highlights of the match can be found at: http://bscup.tom.com/ 

For broadcast quality video, networks should contact CCTV through their affiliates (CCTV5 broadcast the game live in China).

The official tournament website of the Stankovic Continental Cup can be found at http://bscup.tom.com/english/index.html.  

Golden Star Australian Boomers 60 defeated by Slovenia 71
1st Quarter – AUS 16, SLO 12
2nd Quarter – AUS 11, SLO 17
3rd Quarter - AUS 15, SLO 20
4th Quarter - AUS 18, SLO 22

Top scorers
AUS – J. Ingles 14, D. Andersen 14, M. Worthington 6, A. Baynes 6, D. Martin 5, D. Barlow 5
SLO – Becirovic 20, Dragic 13, Udrih 12