Boomers Edge Closer To Basketball World Cup
Australia is one step closer to securing a spot in China's 2019 World Cup.
Australia have moved one step closer to qualifying for next year's basketball World Cup after defeating Kazakhstan 94-41 in Bendigo.
The Boomers were too powerful for the visitors on Monday night as they took sole possession of top spot in Group F of Asian Zone qualification with a 7-1 win-loss record.
Wins in their next two home qualifiers in November and December would guarantee Australia a top-three finish and a place at the 2019 World Cup in China.
In front of a healthy-sized crowd at the newly redeveloped Bendigo Stadium, Melbourne United recruit Mitch McCarron and Victorian Nathan Sobey scored 15 points each, with Daniel Johnson (14) and Nick Kay (13) finishing well under the basket.
The Boomers jumped to a 16-point lead after one quarter and were never headed, as their stifling defence forced the visitors into a whopping 34 turnovers.
"To beat anyone in international competition by 50 (points) takes a certain resolve and attitude," coach Andrej Lemanis said.
"I thought regardless of the scoreline, our application and intent defensively was spot on.
I'm really proud of the group ... we maintained quality in our performance, which is pleasing and tough to do."
But it wasn't all smooth sailing for the home side, with big men Matt Hodgson and Angus Brandt forced out of the game in the first half with leg injuries.
After a scrappy opening, the Boomers clicked into gear as Sobey's athleticism on the fast break and McCarron's outside shooting inspired a 13-0 scoring run to build a 22-6 first-quarter lead.
New Brisbane Bullets signing Hodgson hobbled off late in the first term with a calf complaint and the news soon got worse for Lemanis when Brandt was carried from the court after rolling his right ankle.
Despite the injuries and some improved offence from Kazakhstan, the Boomers went into halftime ahead 41-19 and with Johnson and Kay filling the centre role, the home side never missed a beat as they rolled through the second half.