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06 - 21
August 2016
44 Nikola Mirotic (ESP), 23 Sergio Llull Melia (ESP)
20/08/2016
News
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The bronze incentive

RIO DE JANEIRO (Rio 2016 Olympic Games) - It's always better to leave a tournament on the back of a win, and that is especially true at an Olympic Games.

So despite the pain and heartache that Spain and Australia are feeling after their Semi-Final defeats to the USA and Serbia, respectively, it's important to rally and give everything they have, and more, in the Bronze Medal Game on Sunday.

"It's still an opportunity to do something that (Australian) men's basketball has never achieved in an Olympic Games or world championship level and that's go and get a medal." - Australia coach Andrej Lemanis

"This is really the first time we've been challenged in this tournament where things haven't gone our way, so (it's) a good test of character for us now to ensure that we bounce back and come back and play the way we want to play and represent ourselves in the Bronze Medal Game," Australia coach Andrej Lemanis said.


Serbia thrashed Australia in their Semi-Final

While Australia were steamrolled by Serbia in their Semi-Final, 87-61, Spain played a far more competitive game against the United States and fell, 82-76. Australia marksman Ryan Broekhoff admitted the defeat to Serbia was difficult to digest.

"Obviously we're pretty shattered right now, it's left an empty feeling but we've got to move past it," he said. "We'll go over it (the loss to Serbia) and just try to move on to the Bronze Medal Game. It's still a huge opportunity. We've got a lot of work to do.

"Spain are obviously a very, very good team. It's going to be a challenge but you can expect a better performance than what we showed against Serbia."

Accustomed to playing in Gold Medal Games against the Americans, the Spaniards will now have to battle for third. They have never left an Olympics with a bronze medal.


Spain lost a physical encounter against the USA

"We have to recharge our batteries," Spain coach Sergio Scariolo said. "We are one game shy of making our goal, we can (win) a medal."

The incentive may be greater for the Boomers to win the game. They've never left an Olympics with a medal. There is also a need to get rid of the bad taste left by the performance against Serbia.

"It's still an opportunity to do something that (Australian) men's basketball has never achieved in an Olympic Games or world championship level and that's go and get a medal," Lemanis said.

"The pride that exists within this group, the desire to showcase Australian basketball on the international stage from these guys is just a pleasure to see. I'm confident that we'll come out on Sunday and play the game the right way."

FIBA