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Barlow, Moller earn Boomers' chance


MELBOURNE United teammates David Barlow and Craig Moller are "new" faces in Australia's Boomers to take on Iran and Qatar at Melbourne's Margaret Court Arena from later this month, both great stories in their own right.

Barlow, 35, is experiencing a career Renaissance after only two years ago looking as if injuries had brought it all to a premature end.

The 205cm small forward who has made the successful transition to power forward, missed the entire 2015-16 NBL season with an Achilles injury which threatened his career.

But the four-time NBL champion persisted and with his personal fitness regime, has made it all the way back into the green and gold.

He debuted with the Boomers at the 2006 FIBA World Championship, was an Olympian in Beijing and London and, in between, attended the 2010 FIBA World Championship.

(There's the flashback pic to his Boomers past.)

Returning to a starter's role at United with the departure during the off-season of Tai Wesley to New Zealand, Barlow is averaging 12.1 points at 44 percent, 5.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists.

His form certainly warranted his selection for the next FIBA World Cup qualifying window when the Boomers host Iran on November 30 and Qatar on December 3 in Melbourne.

Moller, 24 and 203cm, is the historic first one-time AFL footballer to make it into basketball's green and gold, having started his elite sporting career playing footy with Fremantle Dockers.

While the late Mike Parsons was the first to win an NBL championship (Launceston, 1981) and play AFL (Sydney Swans), and Dean Brogan has the distinction of winning both an NBL championship (Adelaide, 1998) and an AFL premiership (Port Adelaide, 2004), Moller now has his own exclusive place in basketball history.

Quitting football for the Sydney Kings in 2016, Moller followed coach Dean Vickerman - who was assisting at the Kings that season - to United where he won the championship last season.

It has proven to be his smartest career decision, Moller earlier this year representing the NBL All Stars team which toured China.

I'M A BALLER NOW: Craig Moller will rep Australia after starting out as a footballer.

Australia last played Iran in the final of the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup and prevailed 79-56 to claim the Gold Medal at its first attempt.

In an earlier FIBA qualifying window in September, the Boomers smashed Qatar 95-43 in Doha. That performance included a 27-0 third quarter run by the Aussies.

“Playing in front of our home fans is always such a special buzz and proud moment for everyone involved in the team – there is no better feeling in sport,” Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis said.

“Hopefully we can pack out Margaret Court Arena and make it a truly wonderful atmosphere for both games.” 

Adelaide 36ers captain Daniel Johnson retained his place after a stellar debut for the Boomers in the previous qualifying window and Cam Gliddon returns to the lineup, having been involved in all six of their games through the first round of qualifiers.

Gliddon is having a career-best season at Brisbane, third in the NBL for scoring with 19.4 points per game.

Jason Cadee, Nick Kay, Mitch McCarron and Nathan Sobey, who have competed in all of the Boomers’ qualifying games, all return.

“I say this every time we name a team but it’s such a luxury having this depth of talent available to select from in Australian basketball,” Lemanis said.

“I’d like to recognise all players in the broader squad and again highlight that each one of them contributes to the success of the Boomer program over time – the team is fluid and everyone contributes in different ways at different times.”

The Boomers are: David Barlow (Melbourne United), Todd Blanchfield (Illawarra Hawks), Angus Brandt (Perth Wildcats), Jason Cadee (Brisbane Bullets), Cameron Gliddon (Brisbane Bullets), Matthew Hodgson (Brisbane Bullets), Daniel Johnson (Adelaide 36ers), Nick Kay (Perth Wildcats), Mitch McCarron (Melbourne United), Craig Moller (Melbourne United), Mitch Norton (Perth Wildcats), Nathan Sobey (Adelaide 36ers).

Nov 14

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