They did it ! Australian basketball players have defeated the Indian sign by finally winning an Olympic medal, after failing four times in fourth place (1988, 1996, 2000 and 2016)!
Winners by knockout after an intense 40-minute fight against the Slovenes, the “Boomers” thus offered themselves a magnificent outing. It is also a great reward for the hard core of the selection including Patty Mills, Joe Ingles and Matthew Dellavedova are part and who did not hide their immense emotion at the end of the meeting.
A playoff match
Australia is the sharpest early in the game and quickly goes to +6 on a dunk from Jock Landale (13-7). Slovenia reacted with a 10-0, fed once again by Luka Doncic, who scores, passes, and also allows himself the luxury of causing the second personal foul of Dante Exum (13-17).
The Boomers then regained control thanks to their external address, by Chris Goulding then Patty Mills (23-19), but the Slovenes still show character to come back and then pass again, with this time the trio Blazic-Muric-Dimec in charge. , Zoran Dragic concluding the highlight of his team with a 3-point missile (28-31).
The series are linked until the break, with first the Australian response, in the form of 11-0, fueled by the Mills-Landale pair (45-35), then a new Slovenian highlight, a 10-3 punctuated by the 3-points of Luka Doncic and Edo Muric (48-45). Matisse Thybulle then marks the end of the first half of his imprint, with a first dunk then a second at the very last second, following a final failed attempt by Luka Doncic, collecting a technical fault in passing (53-45) .
The attitude of the Slovenes still singled out
Despite the strong Slovenian pressure, Australia has kept control of the “momentum”, responding to each offensive to go to +12 on a lay-up from Patty Mills (64-52). As against France in the semi-final, the Slovenes have the merit of not letting go, regaining confidence following a 3 + 1 from Klemen Prepelic from the corner (66-60). The “Boomers” can then count on Mills to stick two masterful baskets then serve Joe Ingles at 3-points, the latter by putting a layer to complete the last act, each time from the corner (78-67).
The distant missiles of Vlatko Cancar and Klemen Prepelic however bring Slovenia closer to a scenario similar to the semi-final, the troops of Aleksander Sekulic coming back to three points on a lay-up of Luka Doncic (83-80). But once again, the attitude of the Slovenes is expensive, especially when Jaka Blazic commits an unsporting act on Patty Mills and is punished by two free throws, a 3-point then a dunk in transition from Dante Exum (90-80 ).
This time, Slovenia will not return, Joe Ingles responding without trembling to the 3-points of Luka Doncic (22 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists … and 8 lost balls), then leaving Patty Mills, author of 42 points and 9 assists decisive, finish the job in transition. Solid until the end, Brian Goorjian’s troops can savor their success and Patty Mills let out a few tears of joy (107-93).