The Boomers celebrating their win over China in the World Cup Qualifiers. (Image: @BasketballAus - Twitter)

As we approach the group stages of the 2022 Asia Cup, The Inner Sanctum previews each of the Boomers' opponents.

As we approach the group stages of the 2022 Asia Cup, The Inner Sanctum looks at the group opponents of the Boomers, and what they can expect during the group stage.

The Boomers will be looking to defend their title after winning the gold medal in 2017. Australia has a roster mixed with youth and experienced players.

Mitch McCarron is the only member of the squad from 2017 that is returning for this year’s tournament. He will be joined by Thon Maker and promising upcoming players like Sam Froling and Tyrese Proctor.

Australia’s roster:

  • Alex Ducas
  • Clint Steindl
  • David Okwera
  • Keanu Pinder
  • Mitch McCarron
  • Rhys Vague
  • Sam Froling
  • Sam McDaniel
  • Thon Maker
  • Tyrese Proctor
  • Wani Swaka Lo Buluk
  • Will McDowell White


Last tournament appearance: 2017

Current rank (Asia): 8th

Current rank (Worldwide): 39th

Jordan finished at the top of Group F to qualify for the Asia Cup. It won all five matches through the qualifying stage, defeating Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan twice, and Palestine twice.

Out of the other two teams in the group, Jordan could provide Australia with the biggest challenge as they rank higher than the other two teams, ranking 39th in the FIBA World Rankings. In the last edition of the Asia Cup, Jordan finished eighth.

Australia will need to keep its eye on Jordan’s three main scoring options Ahmad Al Dwairi, Freddy Ibrahim, and Sami Bzai. In the qualifying stage, Jordan had six players average double digits but those three were its three highest scorers, averaging 23 points, 16.8 points, and 15 points per game respectively.

Among all Asian qualifiers, Jordan ranks first for rebounds, averaging 49.2 rebounds per game. For Australia, it will need the likes of Thon Maker, Sam Froling, and Keanu Pinder to make sure they are boxing out their opponents and killing the defensive glass to limit Jordan’s scoring chances.

Keanu Pinder will be key for Australia, limiting Jordan to one shot. (Image: BasketballAus – Twitter)

Saudi Arabia

Last tournament appearance: 2013

Current rank (Asia): 13th

Current rank (Worldwide): 80th

It’s been a while for Saudi Arabia which last competed in the Asia Cup in 2013. In Group E, Saudi Arabia finished third and thereby needed to go through the second round of qualification.

It was able to defeat the two teams in its group (India and Palestine) convincingly and deserves its place in Group A of the 2022 Asia Cup.

Although Saudi Arabia ranks 14th for points (74.4 points per game), 14th for assists (16.3 assists per game), and seventh for rebounds (43.8 per game), it has proved to be an improver in the world of international basketball.

Khalid Abdel Gabar and Mohammed Almarwani will look to carry the load offensively for Saudi Arabia, finishing the qualification stage averaging 16 points and 10.3 points per game respectively.

The Boomers’ guards will need to be careful of Abdel Gabar and Fahad Belal in the passing lanes, with the pair averaging over two steals per game.

Saudi Arabia will be without one of its major players in the Asia Cup with Mohammed Alsuwailem missing due to injury. In the qualifying stage, the 24-year-old centre averaged 11.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks.

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Last tournament appearance: 2011

Current rank (Asia): 19th

Current rank (Worldwide): 95th

Indonesia is the host of the tournament so it gained an automatic qualification into the Asia Cup. Although it still went through the qualification stage as it was only announced as host afterwards.

In Group A, Indonesia finished third behind South Korea and the Philippines, finishing with two wins (both wins came against Thailand) and four losses.

It’s been a while since Indonesia last played in the Asia Cup, the last time being in 2011. As hosts, it will want to make an impact, especially since it will also co-host the World Cup later this year and to qualify for that Indonesia will need to make it to the Quarter Finals at the Asia Cup, so there is plenty of the line.

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