Boomers Close Out Tall Blacks to Claim Oceania Spot at London
Tagged in: Tall Blacks
The Boomers have booked a ticket to the 2012 London Olympic Games, running away from a gallant Tall Blacks side in their second game of the FIBA Oceania Championship series in Brisbane on Friday night, to win 81-64.
Like the Tall Ferns, the Tall Blacks are now required to compete in a repechage tournament next year to secure a place at the London Olympic Games.
With the Boomers leading by nine at quarter time, the Tall Blacks rallied in the second, holding the Aussies to just 12 points as they clawed their way back to within two points going into the change rooms.
Although he wasn’t able to score from the field as effectively as he did in Game One, Kirk Penney was hurting the Aussies from the foul line, shooting 7-7 from the charity stripe in the first half.
Things remained tight in the third period, as New Zealand piled on 20 points to the Boomers’ 17, the Tall Blacks snatching the lead going into the final term, as they fought to keep their hopes of an Olympic berth alive.
It was all Australia in the final term however, their intense defensive pressure finally getting the better of their opponent as they started a run that the Tall Blacks could not contain.
It was a balanced effort by the Boomers, but it was the work of Aleks Maric, who reeled in three consecutive offensive boards that broke the spirit of the Tall Blacks in the last, as the likes of Ingles, Newley and Nielsen all got in on the act.
A late three-point bomb by New Zealand player Leon Henry got the lead back under 20 points, but the Boomers were home and looking towards an Olympic campaign.
“Relief, satisfaction, pride, a sense of accomplishment with the group – all those words I’ve just used are with the group,” said head coach Brett Brown.
“There’s been lot of work that went into this and to finally close this out and get it done is a great accomplishment,” he said. “I look forward to moving forward with a group that has a lot of potential.”
Brad Newley led a balanced Boomers offensive, finishing with 12 points and was named MVP of the game. Big man AJ Ogilvy was the next best scorer with 11 points.
For the Tall Blacks, Kirk Penney was the only player to register double-digit points. He finished with 17, shooting 13-15 from the stripe. New Zealand big Alex Pledger finished with 9.
Australian Boomers 81 (Newley 12, Ogilvy 11) def New Zealand Tall Blacks 64 (Penney 17, Pledger 9)
Game 3 – Sunday 11 September – Sydney Entertainment Centre
4:00PM Boomers v NZ Tall Blacks
6:15PM Jayco Opals v NZ Tall Ferns
Tickets: Ticketmaster 1300 883 322 OR www.ticketmaster.com.au
For more information:
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