Can Asia Cup 2017 champions claim a medal in Tokyo?
TOKYO (Japan) - Australia are one of the top teams contending for the Olympic gold in men’s basketball this year. This should come as no surprise to Asia Cup fans who had watched the Boomers dominate Asia Cup 2017.
How will the Boomers fare in Tokyo this time around? Will they finally claim their first Olympic medal?
Australia are the reigning Asia Cup champions after winning the prestigious competition which was played in Lebanon back in 2017. They cruised through the playing field to claim their first ever Asia Cup title on their very first try.
One player from the Asia Cup 2017 title squad that will be playing for an Olympic medal with the Boomers in Tokyo is power forward Nic Kay.
Kay scored 7.2 points and grabbed 3.8 rebounds per game at Asia Cup 2017, proving to be an important piece of that championship squad. He will once again be an essential part of the Boomers in Tokyo alongside some of the biggest stars that the talent pool has to offer.
The Boomers are hungry.
They have to be after coming so close to a medal at FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 where they finished at 4th place. Having been so close to finishing on the podium many time already, Australia will be out to win in Tokyo with their eyes set on the prize.
Eight players are returning from that World Cup squad, highlighted by leading scorer Patty Mills who put up 22.8 points per game in China. Mills is at that prime age where his mix of skills and experience blends in for a deadly combination, though it is (as it always has been) more than a one-man show for the Boomers.
It will be a fun mix of familiar faces like Mills, Matthew Dellavedova, Aron Baynes, and Joe Ingles along with rising stars like Josh Green and Matisse Thybulle.
The Boomers have already made a statement leading up to the Olympics with a win over USA in an exhibition game, signaling that they are going to be out for the kill in Tokyo.
Australia’s frustration of playing in the Olympics is that they’ve come so close to reaching that podium finish multiple times.
They suffered a heartbreaking loss at Rio 2016 to Spain by 1 point. They lost to Lithuania on their own homecourt at Sydney 2000. It was also Lithuania that beat them 80-76 at Atlanta 1996. Going all the way back to Seoul 1988, they also lost to USA.
All in the Bronze Medal game.
Now they are back once again, hunting for top 3 spot of the Final Standings. The Power Rankings have them set as the team to beat in Tokyo, even up ahead of USA, Spain, and Argentina. They have the motivation to avenge their losses in the recent World Cup and the previous Olympics as well.
After coming so close so many times to claiming that elusive Olympic medal, this might just be the year that they actually do it.