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2023 FIBA World Cup

FIBA: Mills, Exum show way vs Georgia as Australia regroups for Paris

Australia concluded their FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 campaign on a high note with a dominant 100-84 victory over Georgia at Okinawa Arena in Japan.

However, it was still a disappointing tournament for the Boomers, who missed the playoffs after losing to Germany and Slovenia in the first and second rounds, respectively. They were coming off a semi-final finish in the FIBA World Cup 2019 and are the reigning Olympic bronze medalists.

Joe Ingles acknowledged the disappointing conclusion of their World Cup campaign but wanted to focus on the positives as they regroup and prepare for the Paris Olympics next year.

“Obviously, our goal with the group was to be here at the end, and we didn’t achieve that, which is obviously disappointing. But there were a lot of positives in these last six to seven weeks together with a very new group trying to figure out the right way to play,” he said.

“I think we did that and showed that in patches, that we can compete with the best teams. We’ll continue to build off of this and be ready to go to Paris in 9-10 months,” the Dallas Maverick continued.

Atlanta Hawks guard Patty Mills led the Australians with 19 points and five assists, while Dante Exum played his best game in the tournament with an 18-point outing on 6-of-12 shooting.

Australia broke the game wide open in the second quarter, thanks to Mills, who scored 14 points in a span of five minutes, putting the Boomers ahead 51-31 with 2:22 left in the first half.

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Georgia could only cut the lead to 10 early in the fourth quarter as Australia put the game away with a resounding 15-4 run, establishing their biggest lead at 94-73 with 4:55 left to play.

Despite the early exit, Boomers head coach Brian Goorjian firmly believes that they gained many positives in the tournament, especially for the younger players in the squad like Josh Giddey.

“I’m not embarrassed. I’m going back to Melbourne with my head held high,” said Goorjian regarding what he told his players after failing to make the playoffs.

“I do think we had a chance to win a medal, so that will be a goal. But I also knew that with change, with inexperience, our style of play, and playing together, it was a process that would take some time,” he said.

Goga Bitadze led Georgia with 20 points and five boards.

Thaddus McFadden finished with an almost double-double tallying 18 points and nine assists to go with four rebounds while Georgi Shermadini contributed 16 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field for Georgia.

The Crusaders finished their debut World Cup appearance with a 2-3 card, losing all their matches in the second round.

The Scores:

Australia (100) – Mills 19, Exum 18, Reath 16, Giddey 15, Ingles 10, Kay 7, Green 6, Thybulle 4, White 2, Goulding 2, Cooks 1, Daniels 0.

Georgia (84) – Bitadze 20, McFadden 18, Shermadini 16, Andronikashvili 12, Mamukelashvili 12, Turdziladze 4, Jintcharadze 2, Liklikadze 0,

Quarterscores: 23-17, 54-37, 79-67, 100-84

Written By

A Bacolodnon who loves basketball, chess, and esports.

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