The Australian Boomers have lost the first of a two-game series against Slovenia 70-79, with their three-point shooting lacking in an otherwise competitive contest.
Ryan Broekhoff led the way for Australia, shooting a perfect 8-8 from inside the arc on his way to 20 points, ten rebounds and four steals. He was joined in double-figures by Matthew Dellavedova (11 points) while David Andersen’s solid form in the warm-up games continued with six points and eight boards.
Leading by just five points with 1:30 until the main break, Slovenia finished the first half on a 7-0 run to open up a comfortable lead. They extended the margin to 14 at three-quarter time but Broekhoff’s exceptional final term helped trim the deficit to five with three minutes remaining.
The Boomers left their charge too late though, shooting 5-23 from the three-point line for 22%. However, coach Andrej Lemanis is pleased with the direction that the side is heading.
“We’ve made progress over the course of our ten days here in Europe,” he said. “We’ve had the ability to work everybody into the group and our broader system is in place.
“Now we just have to refine both offensively and defensively those things that will hold us in good stead when we play in a couple of weeks.”
Australia’s final warm-up match of the European tour is against Slovenia on Wednesday morning at 4.05am AEST.
Foxtel will show a replay of last night’s game on Tuesday night at 8.30pm AEST while tomorrow morning’s match will be broadcast on Wednesday night at 8.30pm AEST.
The team will then return to Australia for the opening game of the 2015 FIBA Oceania Championships, against New Zealand at Rod Laver Arena, played on August 15. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketek.
Box scores can be found here.