Aussie basketball team in tough Games draw
Australia have avoided the United States but face a tough group in the first round of the London Olympic men’s basketball tournament following Sunday’s draw in Rio De Janeiro.
The Boomers will come up against hosts Great Britain, Beijing Games silver medallists Spain and top-15 sides Brazil and China in Group B as well as the third-placed team in the world qualifying tournament.
In the only other group, defending champions USA have been paired alongside France, Argentina, Tunisia, and the first and second-placed qualifying nations in Group A for the tournament, which is due to get under way on Sunday July 29 at the North Greenwich Arena.
Four teams will qualify for the quarter-finals from each group, with the final set to take place on July 12.
The Australian women’s team has also been handed a tough assignment after being drawn against Great Britain, Brazil, Russia and the third and fifth-placed qualifying nations in Group B for their competition which starts a day earlier than the men’s.
Group A comprises the USA, China, Angola and the first, second and fourth-placed teams from the qualifying tournament, which takes place in Caracas, Venezuela and Ankara, Turkey in June and July.
Meanwhile, the Boomers have named a 25-man squad for the Games with Patty Mills, David Andersen and Matt Nielsen heading the list.
Coach Brett Brown also included locally-based players Mark Worthington, Adam Gibson and Damian Martin in the squad which will be trimmed to 12 before the Games.
Brown said he was excited with the players he was able to call upon even though he is missing star man, Golden State Warriors centre Andrew Bogut, who underwent ankle surgery on Friday.
“We have identified these players, worked with these players, and watched their growth over the past four years,” Brown said.
“The large majority of this squad has participated in several camps, tours and world events during my time as coach, and now each of them has the opportunity to take it one final step and represent Australia at the London 2012 Olympic Games.”
San Antonio Spur Mills has enjoyed a good run of form heading into the NBA play-offs with the Western Conference leaders while European-based stars Andersen, Nielsen, Joe Ingles, Brad Newley and David Barlow make up a strong squad.
Young point guard Matthew Dellavedova has also been named after a breakout year with US college team the St Mary’s Gaels and Brown said his inclusion was a testament to the good blend of senior Boomers, NBL players and college prospects that make up the squad.
© AAP 2013
Squad: Anatoly Bose (Sydney Kings), Peter Crawford (Townsville Crocodiles) Matt Dellavedova (St Mary’s), Anthony Drmic (Boise State), Adam Gibson (Gold Coast Blaze) Hugh Greenwood (New Mexico), Damian Martin (Perth Wildcats), Patrick Mills (San Antonio Spurs), David Barlow (UCAM Murcia), Ryan Broekhoff (Valparaiso), Mitch Creek (Adelaide 36ers), Joe Ingles (Spain), Brad Newley (Valencia), Brock Motum (Washington State University), Matthew Nielsen (BC Khimki), Jesse Wagstaff (Perth Wildcats), Mark Worthington (Gold Coast Blaze), Nathan Jawai (UNCIS Kazan), Daniel Kickert (PGE Turow), Matt Knight (Perth Wildcats), AJ Ogilvy (Valencia), David Andersen (Montepaschi Siena), Aron Baynes (Ikaros Kallitheas), Julian Khazzouh (Sydney Kings), Aleks Maric (Panathinaikos).
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