By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Australia upped its Group B record to 3-0 and secured first place with the 89-76 victory versus Germany on Saturday.
Patty Mills packed a game-high 24 points and also dished out six assists leading the way. Jock Landale with 18 points and Nick Kay with 16 points delivered a large chunk of the 42-28 points edge in the paint.
Down injured Aron Baynes for the remainder of the Olympic Games, the Boomers went through adjustment struggles in the first half but were mostly in control after the break. After the double-digit lead in the third period evaporated, they got themselves in a safe distance down the stretch to claim the W.
“For us, it was about getting used to life without (Aron Baynes). About making sure we figure it out with rotations that we’ll be playing, with Joe (Ingles) playing the four, and with Nick and I playing the five,” said Landale, “I think it was important for us all to just get some really solid minutes out there in our new roles, to adjust to this kind of play.”
Australia will be among the four teams seeded in Sunday’s draw to determine the pairings of the quarterfinals. Italy landed second place in the group but still has a chance to be seeded as well. The Italians require the Czech Republic to beat the USA later today to have reason to worry about Slovenia and Spain tomorrow, and eventually maybe becoming seeded in the draw.
Italy will be seeded:
-If the Czech Republic beats the USA by a margin of 29 points or less
-AND Slovenia beats Spain by a margin of five points or more OR if Spain wins by a margin of 38 points or more
A tougher situation for Germany, as the loss forces it to wait for the point differential of the third-placed teams of Group A and C. In order for the Germans to go through, the USA has to beat the Czech Republic later today by two points or more. The Czechs destroying their opponents by 63 points or more would work too. In any other case, they will still hope for Argentina to take down Japan by a margin under 12 points or the other way around by a margin under 30 points.
“We should have a good chance to advance, we hope things work out for us and we look forward to playing in the quarterfinals,” noted head coach Henrik Rodl.
In the last group stage fixture, Andreas Obst connected five triples en route for a team-high 17 points. Johannes Thiemann and Niels Giffey scored 11 points apiece.
Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL