No NBA stars, no worries for Australia

Daniel Kickert and Brad Newley were the stars of the show.
Daniel Kickert and Brad Newley were the stars of the show.

DESPITE the absence of their NBA stars all tournament, the Australian Boomers have clinched their first Asian Cup win at their first attempt.

The Andrej Lemanis-coached Boomers crushed three-time champions Iran 79-56 in the final in Beirut.

They took a four-point lead into the first break after getting the jump on their opponents with a 12-2 start. But they then completely dominated the second term, 25-12, and were never headed.

Brad Newley led the way for the world No.10 ranked visitors, downing 18 points, while Daniel Kickert added 14 points and six rebounds, and Mitch Creek 12 points, four rebounds and four assists.

"I'm really proud of the way the group developed over the course of the tournament," Lemanis said.

"They showed improvement every game."

Despite remaining unbeaten all campaign, winning all six games by an average of 29 points, no Australian was named in the tournament's all-star line-up.

Former Memphis Grizzlies centre Hamed Haddadi, who scored 18 points in the final for Iran, was named the tournament's most valuable player.

Australia will now turn its their attention to reaching the World Cup in China in 2019, with Asian qualification to begin in November.

"We had a frustrating Olympic campaign in 2016 but looking forward to moving forward with the group to see what we can get done," Lemanis said.

"Come World Cup year in 2019, the reality is not every NBA player will be available. There will be spots available and this is an opportunity for guys to put their hand up."

Topics:  nba nbl

News Corp Australia

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