Australia fought back from a first-half deficit to open its FIBA Men's World Cup campaign with a commanding 98-72 win over Finland on Friday night in Okinawa, Japan.
The Boomers trailed by 8 points before lifting their defence and going on a 17-4 run to establish a 5-point half time lead.
Australia took control of the game in the third quarter, putting the defensive clamps on the Finnish opposition, restricting them to 14 points, while dominating on the offensive end.
Co-Captain Patty Mills scored the opening points of the game and compiled a stat line of a game-high 25 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 assists.
Josh Giddey, on major international tournament debut, continued his strong warm-up game form coming close to a triple-double finishing with 14 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists.
Every Boomer hit the court with 10 players contributing to the score sheet.
The long-range shooting of co-captain Joe Ingles (13 points) kept Australia in the contest in the first half, Dante Exum (10 points, 4 assists, 2 rebounds) influenced the third quarter while Duop Reath, Jack White and Xavier Cooks all provided valuable minutes at both ends.
Giddey said Australia showed promising signs in its fightback.
“It was a great start to the tournament for us, a good win and we’ve got to back it up now in two nights,” Giddey said.
“We started slow and not the way we wanted to, credit to Finland they came out ready to play more than we did and got out to an early jump. I think in that second quarter when Goorj (Australian coach Brian Goorjian) called that time out about half way through.
UPCOMING WORLD CUP FIXTURES
HOW TO WATCH
Every Boomers game, every Team USA game and all quarter finals, semi-finals, third place game and the FIBA World Cup Final will be made available LIVE and FREE on ESPN via Kayo Freebies - which does not require a subscription.
Fans in Australia can access Kayo Freebies and support the Boomers by watching ESPN’s coverage of the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
|UPCOMING WORLD CUP FIXTURES
|Group Phase – Okinawa, Japan
|Sunday August 27
|Australia v Germany
|6:30 pm AEST
|Tuesday August 29
|Australia v Japan
|9:10 pm AEST
|Second Round and Classification– Okinawa, Japan
|August 31 - September 3
|Final Phase – Manila, Philippines
|September 5 & 6
General FIBA World Cup tournament information can be found in the FIBA International media guide.
Post-game press conferences are streamed live to the FIBA YouTube channel.