A reasonable crowd of about 3,500 turned out to watch the Boomers take on China at Challenge Stadium recently. The basketball fans were very glad to be watching the game inside Challenge Stadium, as record Perth rainfall hammered down on the stadium’s metal roof.
Unlike the weather outside, there were not too many goals raining down inside – it was a fairly low scoring match. The crowd was evenly divided with plenty of vocal support for the Chinese National team. The Boomers’ supporters were quiet until the match entered the fourth quarter where, perhaps, the best basketball was saved.
With Australia starting the final term with a 17- to 4-point run, they looked like they had it all sewn up. China wasn’t prepared to lie down, though, and came back to tie it up. Time-on was played at a frenetic pace, with the Aussies scraping up the win at 67-65.
The game was a friendly international try-out and the Australian team will hope to improve their performance after only being together for a week before this match.
My stand-out player on the night was Damian Martin. A tireless worker and handy scorer, he reads the play better than any player I’ve seen. Martin was targeted early by the opposition as they had clearly seen him as a key contributor for the Aussies. He seemed to miss out on some pretty obvious foul calls, but as usual, he didn’t whinge about it – he just smiled and got on with the game. A great role model for us all.
The most entertaining feature of the night was the repertoire of energetic and theatrical dives taken by some Chinese players, in an attempt to attract a favourable call from the refs. Not something seen in the NBL, let’s hope the Chinese drop it as well.
Luke Nevill – 20
Damian Martin – 11
David Barlow – 8
Shipeng Wang – 22
Wei Liu – 8
Zhizhi Wang – 8
Li Yi – 8
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