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Chris strikes Gold, Nigeria strikes out

CHRIS Goulding struck gold today with a magnificent 7-of-7 threes, helping the Boomers sink burgeoning Nigeria 108-69 in an exhibition match, rocking Las Vegas bookies and further exciting prospects of a maiden Olympic medal in Tokyo.

With satisfying wins over Argentina and the USA already under their belts, the Boomers chose to rest their "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" - namely Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, Aron Baynes and Matthew Dellavedova - instead letting their colts run wild and they did, seizing the initiative and never relenting.

Bear in mind, this Nigerian team, with seven of its own NBA players and coached by highly-respected NBA coach Mike Brown, came into the match also owning the scalps of the USA and Argentina, beating the Argies by 23.

They're also in our Group B in Tokyo so this game presented the perfect opportunity NOT to reveal too much strategically, although Australia's defensive brilliance again was on show, containing Nigeria to a 29-point first half as the Boomers swept 20 clear.

Jock Landale (14 points, 5 rebounds) was joined in the starting five by Nathan Sobey (15 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists), Dante Exum (6 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists and a highlights package drive to the hoop), Matisse Thybulle and Nick Kay.

The insertion of peripheral pair Josh Giddey and Xavier Cooks, not to mention Josh Green (11 points), along with the continued emergence of Duop Reath (17 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assist) meant Boomers fans had the opportunity to look into Australia's international future.

And it looks very bright.

En route to 14 points, four rebounds and three assists, Giddey successfully quarterbacked the team but it was Goulding who shot out the lights, leaving no-one in any doubt about his role in this team.

(Keeping him on the floor when his shot was going also was a throwback strategy Melbourne United might seek to employ in its NBL title defence.)

The Boomers bamboozled Nigeria and absolutely were a delight to watch from go-to-whoa, connecting on 18-of-29 threes. Their commitment to defence was through the roof - Nigeria scored 90 and 94 in its previous games before being stifled to 69 by the Aussies - and their unselfish offensive play a pure joy to behold.

But just as Aussie fans knew coach Brian Goorjian was keeping some cards close to his chest and not showing his full hand, let's not believe Nigeria was.

Let's just enjoy how exceptionally well this team is bonding and playing as it prepares for what may be the most competitive yet of Olympic Games.


WANT to know why beating the USA was so big for Australia yesterday?

Then check out Australia's all-time record against the Americans:

Australia V USA matches

1964 Olympics, Tokyo, Japan

USA 78, Boomers 45

1970 FIBA World C’ship, Ljubljana, Yugoslavia

USA 99, Boomers 62


1972 Olympics, Munich, West Germany

USA 81, Boomers 55

1978 “International 7-Test Basketball Challenge”, Sept.20-27

USA 99, Boomers 81 in Newcastle

USA 98, Boomers 84 in Wollongong

USA 91, Boomers 73 in Canberra

USA 74, Boomers 70 in Melbourne

USA 81, Boomers 80 in Melbourne

USA 91, Boomers 72 in Adelaide

USA 87, Boomers 69 in Adelaide


1978 FIBA World C’ship, Manila, Philippines

USA 77, Boomers 75

1982 FIBA World C’ship, Bogota, Colombia

USA 110, Boomers 86


1988 Olympics, Seoul, South Korea

USA 78, Boomers 49

1990 FIBA World C’ship, Buenos Aires, Argentina

USA 79, Boomers 78


1994 FIBA World C’ship, Toronto, Canada

USA 130, Boomers 74

1996 Pre-Olympic “Friendly”, Salt Lake City, USA

USA 118, Boomers 77


1996 Olympics, Atlanta, USA

USA 101, Boomers 73

1998 Goodwill Games, New York, USA

USA 93, Boomers 85


1998 FIBA World C’ship, Athens, Greece

USA 96, Boomers 78

2000 Pre-Olympic “Friendly”, Melbourne, Australia

USA 89, Boomers 64


2004 Olympics, Athens, Greece

USA 89, Boomers 79

2006 FIBA World C’ship, Hamamatsu, Japan

USA 113, Boomers 73


2008 Olympics, Beijing, China                                                  

USA 116, Boomers 85

2012 Olympics, London, England

USA 119, Boomers 86


2016 Olympics, Rio, Brazil

USA 98, Boomers 88


2019 Pre-FIBA World Cup "Friendly", Melbourne, Australia

USA 102, Boomers 86

*Boomers 98, USA 94


2021 Pre-Olympic "Friendly", Las Vegas, USA

*Boomers 91, USA 83

(Prior to Australia's win at Marvel Stadium in 2019, it was 0-8 in Olympic competition; 0-7 in FIBA World Championships/World Cups; 0-11 in “exhibitions” or “friendlies”; 0-26 overall. That is now 2-26.) 

Jul 14

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