Australia looks to Paris Olympics after Fiba World Cup exit | Inquirer Sports

Australia looks to Paris Olympics after Fiba World Cup exit

/ 01:58 PM September 02, 2023

Australia Fiba World Cup

Australian NBA players Josh Giddey, Patty Mills and Matisse Thybulle look on while on the bench in a loss to Slovenia in the Fiba World Cup second round. -FIBA PHOTO

Australia head coach Brian Goorjian said preparation for the Paris Olympics “starts now” after the Boomers were eliminated from the Basketball World Cup by a Luka Doncic-inspired Slovenia on Friday.

Australia lost 91-80 as the second round got underway in Okinawa in southern Japan, sending them out of the tournament due to Germany’s win over Georgia in Group K earlier in the day.

Australia had already clinched a qualifying spot at next year’s Paris Olympics as the highest-placed Oceania team at the World Cup.

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Goorjian immediately turned his thoughts towards the Games and said he was “excited at where this thing could go”.

“It starts now, preparation for the Olympics,” he said.

“We learned a lot and I think we’re in the process of change in style of play, both offensively and defensively.”

Australia won bronze at the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics two years ago, beating Slovenia to reach the podium.

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Goorjian has blooded a host of young players at the World Cup being hosted in Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia, including 20-year-old Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Josh Giddey.

Patty Mills Australia Fiba World Cup

Australia’s Patty Mills in the Fiba World Cup. FIBA PHOTO

Giddey was the game’s top scorer against Slovenia with 25 points, and Goorjian said “the youth of this thing is for real”.

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“Some big decisions are ahead but I like what’s in front of me,” he said.

Australia struggled to cope with Doncic, who had 19 points for Slovenia.

The Dallas Mavericks superstar got into foul trouble but still gave Australia problems in almost 29 minutes on the floor.

Australia again made a slow start to the game and Goorjian said his team had to “play through some mistakes before it clicks in”.

“When you get in a game like this and there’s a lot of pressure, who you are comes out,” he said.

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TAGS: Australia, Fiba World Cup

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