Boomers too strong for Ja­pan

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - GREG DAVIS

BRIS­BANE Bul­lets for­ward Daniel Kick­ert came up big when it mat­tered to help Aus­tralia to a 84- 68 vic­tory over Ja­pan on the open­ing day of the FIBA Asia Cup in Le­banon.

The Boomers con­tinue their cam­paign against Hong Kong tonight af­ter an en­cour­ag­ing start to the tour­na­ment, hav­ing the win in the bag by three- quar­ter time.

Kick­ert started at power for­ward and fin­ished with 11 points, four re­bounds and five as­sists with five Boomers fin­ish­ing in dou­ble- fig­ures.

Cairns cap­tain Cam Glid­don and fel­low start­ing guard Jason Cadee both had 13 points while Ade­laide duo Matt Hodgson ( 11 points) and Mitch Creek ( 10) stood tall.

Ja­pan flew out of the gates but only led by one point af­ter Kick­ert and Hodgson added late buck­ets. A Kick­ert lay- up and two free throws at the start of the sec­ond term sparked a 16- 7 run for Aus­tralia, who outscored Ja­pan 23- 11 for the term to seize an 11- point half­time lead.

The Boomers kept Ja­pan score­less in the first three min­utes of the third term. Some re­sis­tance was quashed by some Cadee bril­liance, a scor­ing burst from Nick Kay and a three- pointer from Kick­ert to hand Aus­tralia a 21- point buf­fer at the last change.

Aus­tralia com­pletely dom­i­nated the re­bounds 44- 16 with Hodgson lead­ing the way with 12 boards ( six of­fen­sive).

Af­ter tonight’s clash with Hong Kong, Aus­tralia will face Chi­nese Taipei in their fi­nal pool game on Satur­day. The quar­ter- fi­nals will be­gin on Au­gust 17 with the semi- fi­nals and medal games to be con­tested over Au­gust 19- 20.

The Boomers ( 10th) are the high­est ranked side in the 16na­tion tour­na­ment and are likely to meet ei­ther China or New Zealand at the busi­ness end of the com­pe­ti­tion.

Boomer Brandt An­gus scores.

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