Boomers make history, defeati... | Australian Olympic Committee

Boomers make history, defeating the US for the first time ever

Author imageAOC26 Aug 2019
Andrew Bogut and Patrick Mills of the Boomers high five during the International Basketball Friendly match between the Australian Boomers and Team USA - Getty Images

BASKETBALL: In front of over 52,000 screaming fans at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, the Boomers created history, defeating the USA for the first time in their 55-year history.

The US had seemed untouchable for the Aussie men throughout history, that was until they broke their massive unbeaten run with a 98-94 victory on Saturday, America's first loss in 13 years and 78 games.

Triple Olympian, Patty Mills led the charge, scoring 30 points in front of Australia’s biggest ever basketball crowd, who were elated by the bounce back, after watching the Boomers go down to the US 102-86 just 48-hours prior.

At the post-match press conference, teammates lauded Mills' sizzling performance.

"Patty, is just Patty, so you don't have to say anything else," Mitch Creek said.

"The new Fantastic Four movie is coming out and Patty is the human torch, he has the lead role."

David Barlow echoed Creek's sentiments calling Mills' performance "absolute brilliance" and adding he looked like an "absolute nightmare to defend."

Mills was just as generous in commending his teammates.

"We do it as teammates, we do it as best friends. We've always been the underdogs. Hell of a group. We're trying to create history," he said.

Although Mills' moves on the court were widely praised, it was a team effort that secured the historic victory. After their loss to the US just days prior, reflection and learning played a big part.

"Couldn't be prouder to be an Australian basketballer right now," Andrew Bogut said.

“The biggest thing about us that I like is that we make great adjustments from game to game.

“We really have guys that buy into watching film and taking feedback, both positive and negative, to make sure that we don’t make those same mistakes the next game.

“Sometimes it even happens from time-out to time-out and quarter to quarter and that’s a pretty special group," he explained.

The Boomers were down by 10 points early in the game, but a time-out with a strategic change up, turned the tables.

“The coaching staff and the playing group did a brilliant job of making an adjustment there. In that moment, where you thought it could’ve slipped away, we changed things. There was a meeting about that and it was a brilliant little adjustment,” Barlow said.

Boomers Coach Andrej Lemanis explained further;

“We managed to pull together, in that moment," he said.

“The chemistry was good, we stuck with it, we got in the trenches, started to play some defence and got it going from that end of the floor. That‘s how you build belief and that was really pleasing.”

Next up, the Boomers will take on Canada in their first pool match of the 2019 FIBA World Cup on September 1.