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WCAQ: A-O-Kay as Boomers complete sweep

NICK Kay went one step better again today with a super-rare international triple-double as he led Australia to a resounding 90-71 victory over a feisty Chinese Taipei to close this World Cup Asian Qualifying window with the Boomers completing a 3-0 sweep in Okinawa. Angus Brandt started strongly and finished with 13 points.

So too did Jaylin Galloway (below) who relished his minutes, his 13 points including 3-of-6 triples.

Chinese Taipei started strongly and led by as many as four points early, responding positively to every Boomers assault.

They led 15-11 and again at 18-15 off a 3-pointer as Australia found itself a little out of rhythm.

But once Sean MacDonald swished a 3-pointer to put Australia ahead 22-20, it wasn't headed again.

That was despite CT definitely showing more hustle and determination than in the 98-61 whack they took from the Boomers to open this FIBA window.

Chinese Taipei centre William Artino led the way for a 20-point, 13-rebound double-double and he had no shortage of members of the supporting cast willing to step up in key moments.

Artino's battle with Brandt early was a solid matchup but overall Australia's 50-31 rebounding edge was hugely significant, as was its ability to share the ball, this time tallying 34 assists.

Kay, of course, was the mainstay and Basketball Australia's wealth of historians will be scrambling for their record books to find the last time anyone on a Boomers roster compiled a triple double.

The 206cm 29-year-old scored 14 points, hauled down 11 rebounds and dished 10 assists in a typical all-around performance which still says little about his defensive work, defensive help rotations, screens and relentless endeavour.

Some of Australia's passing was slick and wickedly good, leading to lob dunks and players such as Rhys Vague thoroughly enjoying themselves.

Craig Moller had eight points, seven rebounds and five assists and is a noticeably better passer, if not better in nearly every facet of the game.

Emmett Naar had a further nine assists and Kyle Zunic and Alex Mudronja again were impressive, as was Wena David Okwera swishing his two 3-point attempts.

Rob Beveridge did an immaculate job as coach in a very short space of time, his "team of the future" - albeit with a couple of very good warriors - was committed to the green-and-gold and fun to watch. They did us proud.

AUSTRALIA BOOMERS 90 (Kay 14, Galloway, Brandt 13; Kay 11 rebs; Kay 10 assts) d CHINESE TAIPEI 71 (Artino 20, Wu, Chou, Pai 10; Artino 13 rebs; Pai 6 assts). Australia is 3-0.

Feb 28

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