By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
Two nations that know each other very well after their multiple games in the preparation period clashed in the city of Dongguan, as Australia beat Canada with a 108-92 victory in the FIBA World Cup Group H opener.
Despite a shaky start in the second half, Boomers had incredible Matthew Dellavedova taking charge, with 24 points (with 6/10 from the three-point line), five assists and three rebounds, as Australia made an impressive run (35-12) in the final period. “We got slapped in the face a bit, then we got back into the game,” in the words of Chris Goulding.
And “shaky” means the tide of the game turned completely. Australia found themselves sinking, despite leading with a double-digit lead (43-33) in the second period. Canada came back with an 18-5 partial score in just three minutes of the third quarter, while Kevin Pangos (14 points) eventually gave them the lead with a three-pointer (58-55). “We had moments where we played pretty well, but there were others that we had a lot of struggle,” commented Pangos.
“We started badly, and we finished badly, but we were excellent in the middle. We regrouped at halftime, but we had a very bad stretch in the fourth quarter. They’re an excellent team, and we just run out of gas against them“, said Canada’s coach Nick Nurse.
By the end of the quarter, the Canadians led 77-76, with lots of individual efforts by Khem Birch, who ended the game with 18 points and five rebounds.
Up next for Australia will be facing Senegal on Tuesday (3/9), while Canada will compete against Lithuania.
Photo credit: FIBA.basketball