18/04/2024

Patty Mills lead from the front as he delivered Australia's first ever Olympic Basketball Medal. Image: @AUSOlympicTeam. Twitter

The Boomers Olympic Medal drought is over Slovenia at Saitama Super Arena with a 107-93 win.

The Boomers Olympic Medal drought is over as they overcame a Luka Dončić-led Slovenia at Saitama Super Arena with a 107-93 win. For all your Tokyo 2020 coverage, stay tuned to The Inner Sanctum’s Olympic hub and the Olympics Central.

After the disappointment of being run over by Team USA in the second half on Thursday, the Boomers were quick to regroup as they chased that elusive Olympic medal. Captain and Flagbearer Patty Mills was a man on a mission, leading the way again with 42 points and 9 assists along, helping deliver Australia their first-ever basketball medal at the Olympic games.

The Boomers changed up their starting five from the semi-final with Mattise Thybulle starting on the floor in place of regular starter Matthew Dellavedova.

Australia got out to a quick start with Joe Ingles knocking down the first four points of the game and assisting Thybulle in defending the superstar Dončić.

Dončić, who was sporting a brace on his wrist, was the subject of defensive attention early in the game from the Boomers, and that pressure was telling, causing the superstar to miss a number of his opening shots.

Both sides traded turnovers early as Dončić worked himself into the game as Australia coughed up easy fouls and easy points as Slovenia racked up a 15-4 point run to take the lead before a Chris Goulding three pointer wrestled momentum back Australia’s way to hold a one point lead at quarter time.

A fast start to the second quarter saw the lead trade hands several times as the ball pinged up and down the court.

As Slovenia continued to turn the ball over and let their emotions boil over at stages as Luka Dončić drew a technical foul. Patty Mills though was letting nothing stand in his way, racking up 26 points for the half as Australia moved to a 53-45 halftime lead thanks to a Thybulle buzzer-beater.

https://twitter.com/7olympics/status/1423974473347207173
https://twitter.com/7olympics/status/1424009939295645697

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The fouls, both personal and team continued to mount for Slovenia at the start of the third period as Australia regularly maintained and restored its double-figure lead.

Mike Tobey continued to be a big presence on the offensive end, moving Slovenia within six points of Australia before Mills and Thybulle combined again to bring the margin back out to 11 points at three-quarter time.

An unsportsmanlike foul was called on Patty Mills and after an offensive foul was called on Matthew Dellavedova, Slovenia went on a 14 point run to cut the deficit to six points with seven minutes to play.

Kelmen Prepelic nailed a three pointer and Slovenia had all the momentum before an unsportsmanlike foul sent Mills to the free-throw line.

Both teams traded 3 pointers as Mills ticked over 40 points for the game. Lifting as he could see the finish line and the prize at the end of it.

Mattise Thybulle sealed the game with another dunk, netting Australia the breakthrough medal they had been craving.

https://twitter.com/7olympics/status/1423988501985497090

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