Boomers bounce back with big win

Australia will fly out for the 2023 FIBA World Cup on Friday morning following a resounding win over South Sudan

Australia will fly out for the 2023 FIBA World Cup on Friday morning following a resounding a 21 point win over South Sudan in the Boomers v The World series at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.

After a slow start, the Boomers led at every break for a final score of 88-67, recovering from Wednesday night’s defeat to Brazil. 

Matisse Thybulle top scored with 17 points, including 5 from 6 three pointers, while captain Patty Mills and Xavier Cooks each had 11 points.

The Boomers v The World series featured Australia, Brazil, South Sudan and Venezuela and attracted more than 30,000 basketball fans to Rod Laver Arena, providing crucial opportunities for coach Brian Goorjian’s men to practice and play together ahead of the FIBA World Cup, which begins on August 25. 

Duop Reath capped off an outstanding series in Melbourne with 15 points and 6 rebounds in tonight’s game, averaging 18 points across the friendlies, while Josh Green had a solid return to the court from injury (elbow), playing 27 minutes (5 pts, 4 rebounds, 4 assists).

The Boomers’ win was marred by an injury to centre Jock Landale who suffered a bad ankle roll in the first quarter. Landale will undergo scans on Friday and Australian medical staff will continue to assess his injury ahead of the FIBA World Cup.

Coach Brian Goorjian rested veteran Joe Ingles, while Chris Goulding warmed up but is yet to hit the court in this preparation phase, recovering from a knee problem. 

Marial Shayok was a top performer for South Sudan (15 pts, 3 rebounds, 1 assist).

The Australian squad departs Friday morning for Tokyo, where they will play another friendly against France on August 20 (2pm AEST tip off on 9Network and 9Now), followed by a final warm-up against Georgia in Okinawa on August 22 ahead of their first FIBA World Cup game against Finland on August 25.

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