Australia’s Matthew Dellavedova, bottom, fights for the ball with Martin Kriz of the Czech Republic. (AFP: Wang Zhao)
The Aussie Boomers have qualified for the Basketball World Cup semi-finals for the first time, after defeating Czech Republic 82-70 in China.
- This with the Boomer’s sixth straight match win in China
- Patty Mills was again the standout, leading the scoring with 24 points
- Australia survived the World Cup “Group of Death” also including Canada, Senegal and Lithuania
The Boomers, who had never gone beyond the quarter-finals in 11 previous appearances, defeated the tournament debutants on Wednesday night, and will meet Spain on Friday.
Meanwhile, France has upset the United States after winning 89-79 and will also advance to the semi-finals where they will take on Argentina.
This was Australia’s sixth straight match win in China, and in doing so, they avoided becoming the latest surprise casualty at this unpredictable World Cup.
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San Antonio Spurs’ Patty Mills was again the standout, leading the scoring with 24 points.
The 31-year-old guard also had six assists and four rebounds.
Argentina stunned favourites Serbia on Tuesday while reigning two-time champions the United States were dumped out by France on Wednesday.
Australia’s Andrew Bogut, centre, and Blake Schilb of the Czech Republic fight for the ball. (AFP: Wang Zhao)
Australia were heavy favourites in Shanghai against the Czechs, who bravely hung on until midway through the third quarter, when the Boomers cranked up the pressure.
Australia survived the World Cup “Group of Death” also including Canada, Senegal and Lithuania, before beating the Dominican Republic and then fellow semi-finalists France.
Veteran Australian Andrew Bogut was again loudly booed throughout by fans in Shanghai upset with a tweet he wrote in July about Chinese swimming star Sun Yang.
He goaded the crowd afterwards with a dance as he came off the court.