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Wildcats, Bucks, Bullets, Kings dominate Boomers


MATTHEW Dellavedova and Thon Maker of the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks, and Perth Wildcats trio Angus Brandt, Nick Kay and Jesse Wagstaff lead the Boomers team bound for the June/July FIBA World Cup qualifying window.

While the Wildcats boast the strongest representation with three members of Andrej Lemanis' 12-man team for matches in Japan on June 29 and the Philippines on July 2, the Bucks, Brisbane Bullets and Sydney Kings are next with two apiece.

Jason Cadee and Cam Gliddon (Brisbane), plus Daniel Kickert and Kevin Lisch (Sydney) are the other “multiples”, with Rio Olympian and Larry Sengstock Medallist Chris Goulding (Melbourne United), Adelaide 36ers livewire Nathan Sobey and former Cairns Taipan and now Slovenian championship-winner Mitch McCarron (below) rounding out the dozen.

Rio Olympian Brock Motum, who has been playing for Anadolu Efes in Turkey, and who earlier declared his availability, was a late withdrawal.

“His team went deep into the playoffs and he has some niggles he wants to get on top of post-season,” Lemanis said.

Australia already is through to the second phase of World Cup qualifying, unbeaten after four games. It whipped Chinese Taipei 104-66 and 88-68, and took home wins over Japan 82-58 and the Philippines 84-68.

“We know it is going to be difficult playing Japan and the Philippines at their respective venues,” Lemanis said.

“We saw how loud it was when we played in Melbourne with the Filipino fans dominating the environment and with a (home) stadium capacity of 50,000, that game is something all the guys are looking forward to.

“International basketball is always great basketball played to a very high level. We will need to play well to give ourselves an opportunity for success.”

Maker (below) will be making his long-anticipated international debut in the green 'n' gold in this series, creating history as the first Sudanese-born player to represent the Boomers.

“Delly has been a part of the Boomers program for a long time now and understands the culture and it will be a good opportunity for Thon to add his influence,” Lemanis said.

“This is an exciting time for us as a team and for Thon as well. I’m really pleased for him that all the work he has put in to this point will now be rewarded with an opportunity to play for Australia.

“We have been following his progress and keeping in contact for a number of years now and he has always said he wants to play for Australia. It’s great for him that goal is now being realised.

“It is also really exciting for the Sudanese community who now call Australia home. Thon is a wonderful representative and role model who will inspire others to strive for success in their chosen field.”

The Boomers' lineup is: Angus Brandt (Perth Wildcats), Jason Cadee (Brisbane Bullets), Matthew Dellavedova (Milwaukee Bucks), Cameron Gliddon (Brisbane Bullets), Chris Goulding (Melbourne United), Nick Kay (Perth Wildcats), Daniel Kickert (Sydney Kings), Kevin Lisch (Sydney Kings), Mitch McCarron (Olimpija Ljubljana, Slovenia), Thon Maker (Milwaukee Bucks), Nathan Sobey (Adelaide 36ers), Jesse Wagstaff (Perth Wildcats).

The team is in camp in Melbourne on June 21, before departing for Japan on June 25.

May 31

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