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Australia goes BOOM! Landslide win over Argentina sets up dream semi against Team USA

Dante Exum. (Photo by Pete Dovgan/Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Expert
3rd August, 2021
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It’s crunch time for the Boomers when they face Argentina in their Tokyo Olympics basketball quarter-final from 10pm AEST.

After a solid run of wins through the group stages that claimed the scalps of Nigeria, Italy and Germany, the Boomers now brace themselves for the knockout phase where there is no room for error.

One more win gets them into a semifinal and a shot at claiming their first medal; two more wins puts them into the gold medal match.

Their first hurdle: Argentina.

The quarterfinal matchup against Luis Scola and the Argentinians won’t be a walk in the park. They are playing spirited ball, led by the 41-year-old Scola at his fifth Olympics who is averaging 19.7 per game.

Four-time Olympian and NBL player David Andersen told the media “He (Scola) is like a steam train, just keeps going at that same rhythm and taking advantage of opponents where he can.”

Argentina finished third on 1-2 in Group C behind Slovenia and Spain. They got blown away by Luka Doncic’s Slovenia 118—100 and they lost to Spain in a close one by 10. But they had a bounce-back win over host nation Japan by 20 — Scola top scored with 23, shooting five-from-eight for threes and grabbing 10 rebounds.

The Boomers head into the quarterfinal with some question marks over their rebounding depth, with Aron Baynes out for the rest of the Olympics. Against Germany the Boomers struggled on the boards and were outmuscled 45-28 in total rebounds (18-9 offensive rebounds) which gave the Germans repeat opportunities to score.

Throughout this tournament Patty Mills has stood up when the team has needed him to. He’s been the heartbeat of the Australians, top scoring in two of the three games with scores of 24, 16 and 25. He’s shot 12-from-32 from behind the arc in three games and Joe Ingles is eight-from-20.

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The Boomers will need Nick Kay and Jock Landale to continue their rich form without Baynes. They’ve shot 43 and 40 points respectively in three games, with 32 rebounds and 14 assists between them.

And Matisse Thybulle leads the team with 13 steals (next best is Patty Mills with five). His defensive work has been impactful. Look for him to stuff the stat sheet with low but effective numbers.

If Australia beat Argentina, it means they will have to play either Spain or USA in a semifinal; win from there and they’re guaranteed a silver medal, but a loss could see them face difficult opponents in Slovenia, Italy or France to fight for the bronze.

All the games look like an arm wrestle from here. The Boomers’ medal hopes start against Argentina tonight at 10pm AEST.

Game information

Tip off: 10:00pm (AEST)
Venue: Saitama Super Arena, Tokyo
TV: Channel Seven
Online: 7plus

Squads

Boomers
Patty Mills (c), Aron Baynes, Matthew Dellavedova, Dante Exum, Chris Goulding, Josh Green, Nic Kay, Jock Landale, Joe Ingles, Duop Reath, Nathan Sobey, Matisse Thybulle

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Argentina
Luis Scola, Facundo Campazzo, Nicolas Parovittola, Nicolas Brussino, Leandro Bolmaro, Francisco Caffaro, Marcos Della, Grabriel Deck, Luca Vildoza, Juan Pablo Vaulet, Patricio Garino, Tayavek Gallizzi

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