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2019 Basketball World Cup, semi-final: Spain vs Australia
|Venue: Wukesong Sport Arena, Beijing|
|Match time: Fulltime|
Australia’s dreams of taking the gold medal at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup are over after they were defeated by Spain in a double-overtime semi-final.
The Australian Boomers are guaranteed at a shot of playing for a Basketball World Cup medal, but Spain stand in their way of playing in the gold medal match when the two sides meet in the first semi-final. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 6pm (AEST).
The Boomers will have not only a shot at the gold medal on the line here, but a chance for revenge after they were knocked out of the 2016 Olympics by Spain in the bronze medal game.
Both Australia and Spain will be viewing this as their best chance for a medal though, with the USA and Serbia both being knocked out in the quarter-finals of the tournament.
The Boomers have been far from perfect throughout the tournament, but are yet to drop a game and just keep finding ways to get the job done.
While they didn’t blow out teams like they should have in Senegal and the Dominican Republic, their last two victories over France and the Czech Republic were impressive.
Australia have found themselves under adversity in every game they have played so far, normally due to foul trouble, turnovers, and sloppy starts to the second half.
However, Patty Mills is the tournament’s leading scorer, Joe Ingles has been excellent, Matthew Dellavedova’s defence provides them plenty, and the big man rotation of Andrew Bogut, Aron Baynes and Nick Kay may be the best at the tournament.
This Spanish team won’t be an easy one to get past though. While they are playing the tournament without Pau Gasol, it’s been Marc Gasol leading the way.
The big man will have an enormous roll to play in the paint, and needs to play big minutes here to stop the Aussie big man rotation, while Ricky Rubio is a dangerously creative guard on the outside.
Those two players hold the key to the Spanish performance, and while they are undefeated, they probably haven’t had quite as difficult of a run through the tournament as the Aussies have had, although they did beat Serbia in a second-round game.
What Spain must do strongly is crash the glass, particularly at the offensive end and exploit a weakness in the Aussies, and through Juancho Hernangomez, Victor Claver and Gasol, they posses the weapons to do that and pull down offensive rebounds like other nations have against Australia throughout the tournament.
There is no doubt these two sides are fairly evenly matched, but Australia look to have a little bit more depth in the rotation. Stay out of foul trouble and cut down on turnovers, and this is Australia’s match to win.
Boomers by 4.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of this Basketball World Cup semi-final from 6pm (AEST) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.
Start time: 6pm (AEST)
Venue: Wukesong Sport Arena, Beijing
TV: Live, Fox Sports More 507
Online: Live, Kayo Sports, Foxtel App, Foxtel Now
Betting: Spain $1.62, Australia $2.30
Point guard: Patty Mills
Shooting guard: Matthew Dellavedova
Small forward: Joe Ingles
Power forward: Jock Landale
Centre: Aron Baynes
Bench: Andrew Bogut, Mitch Creek, Cameron Gliddon, Chris Goulding, Nick Kay, David Barlow, Nathan Sobey
Point guard: Ricky Rubio
Shooting guard: Sergio Llull
Small forward: Rudy Fernandez
Power forward: Victor Claver
Centre: Marc Gasol
Bench: Javier Beiran, Quino Colom, Juancho Hernangomez, Willy Hernangomez Geuer, Pierre Oriola, Xavier Rabaseda, Pau Ribas