Miracle at Marve!: Boomers beat Team USA for first time
FORGET the Ashes.
The world is officially on notice.
And Australia has 12 new heroes to celebrate after captain Patty Mills inspired the Boomers to a historic drought-breaking win over USA Basketball.
Mills splashed a game-high 30 points to deliver the first ever Boomers win over Team USA, who had not lost on the international arena since going down to Greece in 2016.
Team USA had never been beaten in Australia, riding a 30-0 record going in, until Mills' mob supercharged the Boomers bid for World Cup glory.Australia ran out victorious, 98-94, in front of a record basketball crowd of 52,079 fans at Marvel Stadium.
GRIT AND GOLD
NOTHING brings confidence like hustle, be it with or without the basketball the Boomers upped the ante against USA Basketball with Jock Landale, Aron Baynes and Andrew Bogut attacking the glass.
After having their colours lowered in the intensity department in the first of two international friendlies in Melbourne the Boomers made the adjustment and toasted success.
Boomers bolter Landale, who came into the squad on the fringes, looks to have cemented his place in the starting line-up following the Melbourne native's standout internationals against Canada and USA.
It bodes well for the national team's World Cup bid in China which tips off against Canada on September 1 where physicality and pressure creates points and rebounds.
Australia scored 46 of its 98 points in the paint, including 11 second-chance points.
Impressively, the Boomers also outrebounded the world's best basketball team 41-35 in an emphatic performance.
WHAT a luxury - and headache, potentially - it is for Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis to have weapons of all shapes and sizes going into the World Cup next month and ultimately, the 2020 Olympics.
The smalls did the job last Thursday night with Patty Mills and Chris Goulding splashing 19 points apiece but yesterday the bigs got in on the act at Marvel Stadium with Andrew Bogut, Aron Baynes and Jock Landale keeping the scoreboard ticking over.
Bogut led all Australian scorers to half-time while Baynes and Landale kept finding ways to contribute under immense and desperate USA defence.
The Boomers' versatility, at both ends of the floor, makes the Lemanis's men an incredibly difficult scout for opposition teams, most notably World Cup medal contenders USA, Serbia and Greece.
JOE GETS JINGLE BACK
AUSTRALIA needs Joe Ingles firing at the World Cup and, after a meek outing last Thursday, the Boomers and Utah Jazz sharpshooter roared back into form with a stylish and rounded display.
The South Australian-born adopted Melburnian, who USA Basketball star and Jazz teammate Donovan Mitchell described as the "heart and soul" of the national team, energised the record crowd of 52,079 with clutch buckets down the stretch, including the go-ahead three to pave the way to victory.
GAZE GETS SWEPT UP IN WIN
Aussie basketball great Andrew Gaze says the Boomers' historic win over the USA should "shock the world".
"This really is amazing," Gaze said on SBS's coverage.
"What a statement from the Boomers!"
The win comes just a week out from the start of the world cup, where Australia hopes to break through for a medal.
"It should shock the world," Gaze said of Saturday's result.
"What a turnaround from Australia from a week ago.
"What a turnaround from Australia from two days ago.
"It snaps a 66-game winning streak … what an historical moment for Australian basketball."
BOGUT: 'WE FEEL LIKE WE CAN BEAT ANYBODY'
BOOMERS coach Andrej Lemanis has heaped praise on Australia's character and resilience to claw back and create history against Team USA in Melbourne.
Team USA threatened to bust the game when an emphatic Jayson Tatum dunk put the visitors up 10 points in the third quarter but unlike last Thursday night's the Boomers "got in the trenches" and responded.
Australia had never beaten Team USA in 27 previous attempts but Patty Mills powered the team to victory with 30 points, including the Boomers' last 10 points.
"There was a run, and we managed to pull together," Lemanis said.
"The chemistry was good, we stuck with it, we got in the trenches and started playing some defence and got going from that end of the floor which is how you build belief as well."
Australia will go into its World Cup campaign, which tips off on September 1 against Canada in China, confident after inflicting Team USA's first international loss in 13 years.
Australia superstar Andrew Bogut was proud to help the Boomers create history.
Bogut starred alongside Mills with 16 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
"We feel like we can beat anybody in the world," Bogut said.
"Guys in this locker room get pi--ed off when we lose, it's been great so far and we just got to carry this confidence into Canada, into Lithuania, into Senegal and onwards."
Team USA clamped down on Chris Goulding after the Boomers sharpshooter poured in 19 points last Thursday night.
"I pretty much figured that, from the second I stepped on court, they were almost guarding me out of bounds," Goulding who ended with five points, said.
"But that's great, we utilised that to put me in the corner and drag out another defender, let Patty get off, let Joe get a lot more of the ball in his hands so that's fine.
Goulding's form against Team USA could see the 30-year-old attract interest from NBA clubs.
Boomers great Shane Heal secured an NBA contract in 1996 off the back of a huge performance against Dream Team II and a strong Atlanta Olympics.
"He's really improved at putting the ball on the floor and not just being a three-point shooter and that's the evolvement he has to have," Heal said.
"I'd love to see him get an opportunity in the NBA."
Asked about the possibility of a scout calling, Goulding deadpanned: "Are they calling are they? I'll pick up."
Live stream every game of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 with KAYO SPORTS on your TV, computer, mobile or tablet. Get your 14 day free trial & start streaming instantly >