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Australia vs Scotland
2018 Commonwealth Games, Men's Basketball semi-final April 14
|Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre|
The Australian Boomers were solid without being spectacular during the group stage of the Commonwealth Games, but they may need to go up another level when they face Scotland during the semi-final. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 10am (AEST).
The Boomers have been far from perfect through their first three games, despite what a quick glance at the scoreboard would have you believe otherwise.
While it’s hard to classify them as major problems against the level of opposition they have faced, Andrej Lemanis’ team seem to be stuck in a rut early in games, their offence simply not clicking.
The starting five is all wrong, with Perth Wildcats guard Damian Martin stuck on the bench, and it’s hurting them with a whole stack of slow starts.
Their biggest challenge – and likely opponent in the gold medal match should they win today – was New Zealand. They trailed for three quarters before pulling it out of the fire.
It was far from impressive, with some splendid individual performances dragging them over the line. They managed to dominate Canada and Nigeria in their first and third games, but then, anything other than complete domination would have been a disappointment.
Even though New Zealand on paper are their toughest opponent, Scotland have caused upset after upset to reach this stage of the tournament and a lot of the credit has to go to Illawarra Hawks coach Rob Beveridge.
He has hid side running simple offensive which is easy to execute on, but off the floor, he is one of the best man-managers in business, proving it as he dragged the Hawks to the NBL finals at the end of the 201-17 domestic season.
Given the way Australia are playing and being coached, this could come down to a battle of the experienced duo.
They showed plenty of grit and determination in their group though, getting through to the knockouts before beating Nigeria in a tense contest by just five-points during the qualifying final.
There’s no denying Scotland’s form is good, but it’s probably not going to be enough to challenge the Boomers, who are rolling straight towards the gold medal game.
Australia by 14.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of the first basketball semi-final at the Commonwealth Games from 10am (AEST) and don’t forget to add a comment below.