The Boomers have wrapped up their qualifying campaign for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup, defeating both Bahrain and Kazakhstan this week in the sixth and final window of the Asian qualifiers.
On Sunday afternoon the Aussies were too good for Kazakhstan, claiming a 45-point victory – 98 to 53 – in front of a packed house of 3,257 fans at the State Basketball Centre in Melbourne. The Boomers’ win officially ended Kazakhstan’s hope of qualifying for the World Cup which kicks off later this year.
Shooting forward Todd Blanchfield lit up the court and had the crowd on their feet, notching up an impressive 31 points, while captain, Nick Kay, recorded six rebounds and fellow leader Mitch McCarron racked up five assists.
Speaking after the match, Blanchfield said it was important for the team to put a four-quarter performance together.
“We spoke about as a group building pressure over 40 minutes, and we knew it was on the line for Kazakhstan today and obviously they needed that win,” Blanchfield said.
“We knew it wasn’t going to happen in the first three or four minutes, but the pressure would continue to build, and we’d continue to get stops and I think we stuck with that, and we have the ‘next man up mentality’ – we play one through to 12 and we’re not going to drop off.”
Earlier in the week, the Boomers stormed home on Thursday night against Bahrain, beating their Group F counterparts by a comfortable 32 points – 83 to 51. Blanchfield was again Australia’s top scorer, racking up 20 points while McCarron recorded eight rebounds and Kyle Adnam notched up five assists.
Throughout the six qualifying windows for the Asia region Australia won 11 of its 12 games, with the only loss resulting from a forfeited match against Iran last November. At the conclusion of the window, the Boomers topped Group F with 20 points, while China placed second.
Basketball Australia would like to thank the 12-man squad who donned the green and gold and made themselves available to play in the final two games, as well as the coaching panel led by, Dean Vickerman.
Ahead of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup – which takes place between August 25 to September 10, the Draw of the World Cup will be held in Manila, The Philippines, on April 29.
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