Australia finetuned its preparation for the FIBA World Cup with an emphatic warm-up game display against Venezuela in Melbourne on Monday night.
A crowd of more than 8000 were on hand at Rod Laver Arena as the Boomers put the defensive clamps on the tourists winning, 97-41.
Australia’s stingy defence restricted Venezuela to just 25 points after quarter time including just four in the third term.
The victory came on the first of three big nights of Boomers vs The World ahead of the tournament played across Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia from August 25 to September 10.
Coach Brian Goorjian was pleased with the Boomers first hit out.
“I was happy. I said before the game we haven’t played together, we were introducing a lot of young guys and guys that are playing in different positions because we’re playing small ball,” he said.
“The cornerstone for us now will be the defensive end of the floor because I really believe as we grow and get closer to the tournament we’re going to be OK offensively so it’s defending and rebounding and we did a pretty good job of that tonight.”
Captain Patty Mills praised the basketball fans who turned out to support their national team.
“We don’t get the opportunity to play on home soil too much so every chance we do it means a lot to us and we’re soaking it up,” he said post-game.
Australia stamped its authority early with seven players scoring in a 27-16 first quarter.
Centre Duop Reath, who finished with a game-high 26 points on 12-of-14 shooting, banked six early points, his two dunks providing early fireworks.
In front of his home crowd, Josh Giddey (14 points (5-of-7 from the field), 9 assists and 8 rebounds) flirted with a triple double, veteran Joe Ingles added 12 points with Xavier Cooks (5 points, 5 rebounds, 4 blocks) and Jack White (8 rebounds, 4 points) providing a spark off the bench.
The only dampener for Australia was guard Chris Goulding leaving the court in the final quarter with a knee complaint.
In the earlier game, Brazil defeated South Sudan, 85-75.
Australia next plays Brazil on Wednesday night at 5.30pm, with Venezuela vs South Sudan tipping off at 7.45pm.