The Australian Boomers have been granted some early luck leading in to the Fiba Basketball World Championships to be held in Spain later this year, getting placed in what looks to be the easiest pool of the four.
The Boomers are in Pool D, which includes only one team ranked in the world top 8, Lithuania. Each pool has one of the top 4 ranked teams, and to be placed with Lithuania (4th) and no other highly ranked team, gives the Aussies their best chance yet of winning a medal.
Boomer coach Andrej Lemanis seemed happy after the draw was released, but remained very grounded.
“Lithuania is the number 1 seed in the group, so they’d have to be the favourites to finish top of the pool”.
“It’s a very diverse group, there’s a good mix of teams in there and there’ll be lots of styles of basketball. I think it’s quite an open field.”
Australia has got one of it’s best squads in recent memory, with several members playing professionally overseas. Patty Mills, Matthew Dellavedova, Andrew Bogut and Aron Baynes are all making a name for themselves in the NBA, while Joe Ingles and several others are tearing up the European leagues.
Throw in young gun Dante Exum who is being keenly watched by NBA scouts and you have one serious team. If they can blend well and find form in Spain, then our first men’s medal is well in reach.
Full Pool Listing:
GROUP A (Granada): Spain, Egypt, Iran, Serbia, Brazil, France
GROUP B (Seville): Argentina, Senegal, Philippines, Croatia, Puerto Rico, Greece
GROUP C (Bilbao): USA, Finland, New Zealand, Ukraine, Dominican Republic, Turkey
GROUP D (Gran Canaria): Lithuania, Angola, Korea, Slovenia, Mexico, Australia