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Boomers sink Kazaks, forfeit to Iran

FROM the moment Nick Kay sank a 3-pointer to open Australia’s scoring, there wasn’t any doubt which way this FIBA World Cup Qualifier on the road in Kazakhstan was going to go, the Boomers’ 97-50 final scoreline maybe still a fraction misleading. But only in terms it flattered the home team.

The Aussies were simply relentless in a first-quarter assault that ended the match as a contest until some home-cooking officiating at least helped the Kazakhs gather behind a feather boa masquerading as momentum.

Australia led 7-0, then 27-2 after a withering 20-0 response to Kazakhstan's first field goal!

Dejan Vasiljevic, when not pushing the ball out of defence, struck two 3-point bombs and Sam Froling fed a cutting Todd Blanchfield for a two-handed slam dunk down an open lane past traffic.

Already Australia was well en route to completing the final win required to qualify for next year’s World Cup and even though most of Mike Kelly’s team will not be a part of that medal quest, they covered themselves in glory today.

Blanchfield catches in rhythm and sticks a three, then Jack McVeigh follows suit, Angus Brandt for a slam … it was clinical as the Boomers swept to a 39-8 lead at the first break.

Kazakhstan had no answer.

Quickly being taken into bonus by the officiating in the second quarter, the door was slightly ajar for the home team to rally, but Kazakhstan could barely stick a big toe through it, let alone a foot.

Australia won every quarter, though none again as exceptionally as that first period avalanche which deserves to be enshrined in a time capsule.

All 11 players scored, with Froling enjoying a double-double of 18 points and 11 boards.

The Boomers were due to travel to Iran for a qualifier on Tuesday but after Basketball Australia conducted a thorough risk assessment in conjunction with relevant authorities, withdrew from playing the game.

FIBA consequently has awarded a forfeit against Australia and as usual is flexing its pimple-sized muscle in faux outrage at BA. But anyone following the recent events in Iran would completely understand why the safety of the team was put first.

And if they don't, maybe check FIBA for an admin vacancy. You may be the ideal candidate.

AUSTRALIAN BOOMERS 97 (Froling 18, Vasiljevic 13, Brandt, McVeigh 10; Froling 11 rebs; Norton 7 assts) d KAZAKHSTAN 50 (Kuanov 9, Pan 6; Aitkali, Pan 7 rebs; Bykov, Kuanov 2 assts). 

Nov 12

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