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Featured News / August 13th, 2017

Australia v Chinese Taipei FIBA Asia Cup Game Report

The Australian Boomers have overcome a scratchy start and a wayward shooting night to defeat Chinese Taipei 90-50 and progress to the FIBA Asia Cup quarter-finals with a 3-0 record.

On a day of bad news where Melbourne United big man David Andersen was ruled out of the tournament, the Aussies rode the energy and athleticism of Mitch Creek to victory.

With Chinese Taipei’s unorthodox style troubling the Boomers in the opening term, coach Andrej Lemanis shifted Creek to power forward and his defensive work rate sparked the team.

Creek’s long arms were everywhere, his speed in the open court unmatched and his drives to the basket unstoppable as he finished with 22 points on a perfect 9-of-9 shooting.

The Adelaide 36ers star was also the key factor in a 14-0 run in 160 seconds across quarter-time that turned a basket-for-basket contest into a lop-sided affair on the scoreboard.

 

 

Australia were never able to assert any consistent dominance on the game, however, plagued by 3-of-22 shooting from the arc and 15 turnovers, many of them unforced.

Mitch McCarron (11 points, 8 rebounds) and Mitch Norton were the Boomers’ other driving forces, while Wildcat Angus Brandt (12 points, 7 rebounds) made the most of extra court time with Matt Hodgson rested.

Taipei’s Liu Cheng (17 points) made the game’s first basket on a smooth pull-up, while in contrast it was some pure Creek brawn that got the Aussies underway, his opening free throw his only miss for the night.

Brandt scored the Boomers’ first field goal with a muscled left-hand jump hook, but Liu continued to show his class off the ball-screen as Chinese Taipei hung tough, their packed-in zone defence frustrating the tournament favourites.

When Liu banked home a shot-clock beating triple and Lu Cheng-Ju also connected from the corner, the men from Taiwan led 10-8 with 3.45 to run in the opening term.

Three-point plays from Nick Kay and Brad Newley got the Boomers’ offence back on track, but back-to-back baskets from big man Wu Tai-Hao had Chinese Taipei back within one point in the shadows of quarter-time.

Decisive Run
A strong Norton drive triggered seven unanswered points to take a 22-14 lead after 10 minutes, then Creek was a man on a mission early in the second stanza, a steal and dunk on the opening play signalling his intentions.

The 198cm swingman then drew a low-post double team, resulting in a wide-open Todd Blanchfield triple, before Creek finished off a nice high-low play from Kay to cap the game-changing run and extend the lead to 15.

Creek sat down and some sloppiness crept back in, however, Liu and Chou Po-Chen continuing to put heat on the defence to draw their team back within nine.

A perfectly-timed Cam Gliddon dime led to a powerful Brandt rim-rocker, before the Taipans shooting guard coolly connected from distance for a 36-20 advantage midway through the period.

After another stalemate, McCarron buried a triple and Creek checked back in and impacted immediately with a tough one-handed tip-in to give the Boomers a 45-23 lead at intermission.

Jason Cadee picked Wu’s pocket for a simple open court lay-up to open the third term, followed by a brilliant change of direction from Creek on the break to finish with his right hand.

After yet another lull where Taipei’s zone slowed the tempo, it was Creek who again brought the game to life with a slicing drive to his non-preferred hand.

Brad Newley (9 assists) then joined in, a gorgeous steal and behind-the-back pass from setting up an easy Norton lay-up, and his contested tip-in extended the margin to a game-high 28.

 

 

McCarron stepped up in the final term with a steal with a powerful two-handed jam, an acrobatic tip-in, a strong wing drive and an impressive up-and-under off a Newley fast-break feed.

Both teams traded baskets to finish out the contest, and fittingly it was Creek who scored the final five points to punctuate an imperfect but nonetheless comprehensive 40-point win.

The Boomers now await their quarter-final date, which is expected to be in the early hours of Thursday morning AEST. Their opponent is still to be determined.

Kiwis Advance
The New Zealand Tall Blacks have also achieved direct passage to the quarter-finals, a clever strategic gamble by coach Paul Henare paying off with his team needing to win or lose by two points or less to top Group C.

With scores tied at 75 on the final play against Korea, Henare instructed his team to foul Heo Ung, conceding victory from the free-throw line but avoiding overtime and a potential defeat by more than two points.

The Tall Blacks had trailed by as many as 15 in the second quarter, but a standout final 20 minutes from NBL trio Shea Ili, Reuben Te Rangi and Finn Delaney – who combined for 22 points and 10 assists after the break – delivered NZ to the final eight.

Delaney finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and two assists, Ili and Te Rangi both handed out five dimes, while youngsters Sam Timmins (12 points, 6 rebounds) and Derone Raukawa (14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists) also impressed.