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WCAQ: Boomers KO Chinese Taipei

CHINESE Taipei opened with a 3-point basket but from there to the end, Australia's "Baby" Boomers dominated their World Cup Asian Qualifier in Okinawa, Japan to win 98-61, a 28-11 first quarter book-ended with a 28-9 last to make it comfortable for interim head coach Rob Beveridge.

Olympic Bronze Medallist Nick Kay led the way with 14 points at 57 per cent, seven rebounds, five assists in 26 minutes, with former 36ers benchman and now Illawarra Hawks extended squadman Alex Mudronja scoring 13 points at 71 per cent (1-of-1 threes), five rebounds, five assists and two steals in 21 minutes.

Smashing it on the boards to the tune of 49-24 and with 34 assists, these Boomers played with the type of ball movement, defensive pressure and culture to which the Brian Goorjian-coached Olympic Bronze Medallists made us accustomed.

Beveridge was generous with how he spread the minutes and every player on the Aussie roster scored in a campaign which will be tougher from here with Japan next on the schedule, and China still to come twice in the second WCAQ window.

Those two have already met twice, with China beating Japan both times, 79-63 and 106-73.

After its next game against Japan, Australia will again play Chinese Taipei to complete this  FIBA window.

In the June 30-July 3 window, the Boomers will play China twice, and Japan again. 

Emmett Naar, Kyle Zunic, Angus Brandt and Craig Moller also made the most of their time in the green-and-gold.

AUSTRALIA BOOMERS 98 (Kay 14, Mudronja 13, Naar 12, Zunic 11, Brandt 10; Moller, Kay 7 rebs; Mudronja, Kay 5 assts) d CHINESE TAIPEI 61 (Artino 14, Lin 12, Chou 11; Artino 8 rebs; Lin 3 assts)

*Teams from Asia will qualify for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 through six tournament windows over 15 months. The Qualifiers run from November 2021 to February 2023, with national sides playing home and away games in each of these event windows. 

Feb 25

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