Senegal came to play against the Boomers at the FIBA World Cup clash in Dongguan, China, with Australia leading 60-50 at the end of the third quarter.
Senegal rushed out to a 7-2 lead and took it to the Boomers throughout the first half, never letting Australia get away.
In front of a barely half full stadium, Senegal stunned the Boomers, who appeared ready to cruise.
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Senegal, the world’s number 35th ranked side, were smashed 101-47 in their first match against Lithuania and it was assumed the Aussies were going to do the same.
Boomers legend Shane Heal said the
“The Boomers are going to have to wake up, sloppy too,” Gaze said midway through the first period.
“Just not looking as switched on as they were against the Canadians and that can sometimes happen in a tournament, even though they had a great win and then they come out against an opponent they’re expected to wipe off the floor and just looking a step slow, not the same sort of communication and intensity they had against America back in Melbourne and against Canada in game one.”
Senegal fought hard early.Source:AFP
Fellow Boomers legend Andrew Gaze followed it up at halftime with a tweet referring to the 1986 Basketball World Cup, where Australia lost to Uruguay, Angola and the Soviet Union to be bundled out in the first round of the tournament.
It was Angola’s only win of the tournament, and the side had been thrashed throughout the remainder of the tournament.
I'm starting to get a cold sweat with flashbacks from the 1986 @FIBAWC … Let's go Boomers!
A loss to Senegal would mean Australia would need to defeat world no. 6 Lithuania to make the second round of the tournament.
A win would see Australia on the verge of making in through with a Lithuanian win over Canada sending both sides through.
Senegal had been demoralised against Lithuania in their tournament opener with a 54-point loss.
But the African nation put the pressure on the Aussies, who couldn’t get away from Senegal.
Australia led 18-16 at the end of the first quarter.
Australia couldn’t kick on before halftime either — leading 36-33 at the half.
Fans watching from Australia were floored by the turn around of both teams after the Boomers beat Canada 108-92 in their opening game.
Ghosts of Angola 1986?
? ? ?
Come on #[email protected] #FIBAWC
Sloppy passing and lazy rebounding hurt us early. But nice shot from Goulding and Delly assist have #Boomers back on track. #BoomersSenegal #2019FIBAWC #GoBoomers
Senegal look a way different team today, coach and Almeida have made up, team looks way more focused. Boomers should outlast them but have to lift from here. #FIBAWC #GoBoomers
Senegal want this more right now. #Boomers don’t want to lose from “lack of effort.” I’m sure they’ll adjust. #FIBAWC
Early turnovers and giving up offensive boards. Sigh. #FIBAWC
Midway through the third quarter, Australia finally kicked away a little, getting out to a double-digit lead as the Boomers put the foot down.
At the end of the third quarter, Australia led 60-50 — still not out of the woods.
It appears Australian assistant Luc Longley’s warning of Senegal was warranted.
“They’re very long, very athletic and we will basically be playing against very, very good athletes,” the former Chicago Bulls title winner said. “To get all the way through this Cup we’ve got to beat Senegal and play against long, athletic teams, so it’s a great progression.
“You can’t replicate it … it’s a challenge for our guys because we’re not the most bouncy, athletic group in the world, or even the southern hemisphere.
“We can’t overpower them; it’s a puzzle for us to solve on our feet and hopefully we solve it well enough to progress.”
Longley said Joe Ingles’ duel with Maurice Ndour would be crucial in setting the tone.
Joe Ingles helped settle the Aussies and get them going.Source:Getty Images
“He’s the kind of guy that can really hurt you — he’s oversized, long, aggressive and he’s Joe’s match-up,” he said.
Australia must “solve the puzzle” against Senegal if they are to move to 2-0 for just the third time in a combined 26 Olympic and basketball World Cup campaigns in China.
The Boomers’ other 2-0 starts came at the Rio Olympics three years ago and Toronto’s 1994 World Cup, where they finished fourth and fifth respectively.
— with AAP
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