The Boomers used their squad to its fullest depth with five players scoring 10 or more points, as they continued their FIBA Asia Cup defence with a strong win over Saudi Arabia.
Australia struggled from the field in the first quarter and was made to pay, as Saudi Arabia stormed out of the blocks to take an 18-15 lead at the first break. In a game in which the Boomers were hot-favourites to win, they trailed by six points early in the second quarter after a three-pointer from Fahad Belal.
However, the Boomers soon bounced back and went on a 10-point scoring run to reduce the pressure. Thon Maker backed up his strong performance in the first game and again topped the scoring for Australia with 16 points.
Maker made his presence felt as he shot two from three from behind the three-point line and recorded six rebounds. The Boomers’ squad depth was on full display as they outscored Saudi Arabia by 17 points in the second quarter to take a 14-point lead at halftime.
Australia proved it is the team to beat during the second quarter as it stole the game from Saudi Arabia in a matter of minutes thanks to relentless defence and strong finishing, which was highlighted by Keanu Pinder, who drew a foul and scored off a lob from Will McDowell-White.
Pinder entered the game off the bench and shot with hawk-eyed accuracy as he made five of six field goal attempts and finished the encounter with 13 points. While Pinder and Maker’s presence was felt on the offensive end, McDowell-White was rock-solid in defence for the Boomers.
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The 24-year-old guard recorded four rebounds, six assists, and three steals in a strong defensive display. Mitch McCarron, Sam Froling, and Tyrese Proctor all put in double-digit point-scoring efforts as Australia’s dominance continued in the second half.
Proctor impressed from beyond the arc as he shot three of six three-pointer attempts, to finish with 15 points for the game.
Australia proved why it is one of the powerhouse nations of basketball in the second half as it was rarely troubled by Saudi Arabia. The Boomers extended their lead to 24 points on the way to a comfortable win.
Australia’s second victory in as many games means it is now top of its group with one game to play in the group stage.
The Boomers will return to action on Saturday when it takes on the hosts Indonesia at 8:30 pm AEST.