Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Landale, Boomers bring home bronze

- ~ Match details from Basketball Australia.

Jock Landale and the Australian Boomers basketball team made history at the Olympics on Saturday, defeating Slovenia, 107-93, to win the first medal for Australian men’s basketball.

Landale — grandson of well known Deniliquin couple Hunter (dec) and Peg Landale, and son of Mundiwa’s Clive and Suellen Landale — is now the proud owner of a bronze medal.

Gold was pushed out of their grasp after the Boomers were soundly beaten by the USA, 97-78, in the semi-finals on Thursday.

The Boomers produced their strongest start of Olympics competitio­ns against America, and lead at both quarter (six points) and half time (three points) before the reigning triple gold medallists breathed fire with a scintillat­ing 32-10 term.

The Boomers, playing great team basketball, led by as much as 15 points with five minutes played in the second quarter but it all came unstuck as the Americans began to swing the momentum, with improved defence and running of the lanes, winning the quarter by six.

Spearheade­d by NBA superstar Kevin Durrant (23 points, nine rebounds) the USA got aggressive, dominated the boards and stamped their authority all over a monster 55-33 second half.

While the defeat halted Australia’s winning streak, the Australian men’s team were determined for a medal finish against Slovenia.

Landale said the Boomers couldn’t afford to dwell on the loss with the bronze medal game 48 hours away.

‘‘We put this game behind us and move on and don’t let there be a hangover,’’ he said before Saturday’s match.

‘‘Obviously we’re disappoint­ed because we came here to win gold but, at the end of the day, we still have the opportunit­y to make history in our country and win a bronze medal.

‘‘It would be selfish of us to carry this into the next game, we’ve got to be ready to roll. I’m already motivated and trying to put this behind me.’’

Captain Patty Mills produced a performanc­e for the ages in the match against Solvenia, sinking a game-high 42 points as he led his team and country to a bronze medal in Tokyo.

Mills, in his fourth Olympics and having carried the Australian flag at the opening ceremony a fortnight ago, was bursting with pride and emotion post game.

‘‘We’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time and it’s taken a lot of experience­s, a lot of ups, a lot of downs for us to get over the hump,’’ he said.

‘‘Now that we’ve made it over the hill, this is the standard now of Australian men’s basketball and we take nothing less. We say ‘gold vibes only’ is the standard and we won’t accept anything less on the court or off the court.’’

Coach Brian Goorjian paid tribute to Lindsay and Andrew Gaze for their past efforts in trying to get the Boomers to a medal finish.

‘‘This has taken 12 years of work to do something that our country has never ever done before,’’ the coach said.

‘‘The feeling is unbelievab­ly special. I've never felt as knotted up on game day; it tells me how big this is.’’

Landale scored 14 of Australia’s 107 points, with others to Mills 42 points, Ingles 16, Exum 12 and Thybulle 11. Slovenia’s points came from Doncic 22, Prepelic 18, Tobey 13 and Blazic 12.

 ??  ?? ■ Jock Landale in action for Melbourne United just weeks before departing for Tokyo. Photo by Richard Wainwright/AAP Image.
■ Jock Landale in action for Melbourne United just weeks before departing for Tokyo. Photo by Richard Wainwright/AAP Image.

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