Roy Ward June 26, 2012
Big bounce: Aleks Maric dunks last night. Photo: Mick Connolly
AN OLYMPIAN performance it wasn't, but the Australian Boomers still managed a second-straight thrashing of Greece in game two of the Farewell Series last night.
The Boomers beat the youthful Greeks 91-51 before a sellout 3200 crowd at the new State Basketball Centre in Wantirna South, but battled to consistently rise above the fatigued and overmatched visitors.
Boomers coach Brett Brown spread his minutes widely and benched his starting five for much of the second half, which seemed the only way of stopping guard Joe Ingles, who had 15 of his game-high 17 points in the first half, then played just two minutes in the second half.
Ingles was the player supporters went home talking about with the Regal Barcelona left-hander shooting everything that moved in the opening half and relishing his court-time with good mate Patrick Mills.
With the likes of Mills, Aleks Maric and Ingles left on the bench in the final term, other Boomers got to run themselves into form under the bright lights of international play with Brad Newley (13 points), Mark Worthington (15 points) and Adam Gibson all fine-tuning their games while piling up the baskets in a lacklustre final term.
For a second straight night the Greek side, made up of emerging young talent, looked outmatched both physically and mentally against the Boomers' ball pressure but the home side lacked the sharpness to take advantage of Greece's 25 turnovers, committing 20 of their own.
There were some spectacular highlights, with Matt Dellavedova finding big man Aron Baynes for a punishing two-hand dunk while Newley showed young supporters the value of persistence mistiming a slam dunk late in the third yet getting out in the open twice in the fourth for breakaway dunks.
Brown said his players had shot well but he was unhappy with their focus against their tiring opponents.
"We were careless and sloppy," he said. "We cannot disrespect this process, at times the margin of the game diluted the importance of it. That was the biggest negative I leave the game with.
"There are five games left [before the Olympics]; it's not like you have a bunch of games to prepare."
But Brown said his side was improving with each game and his players were smart enough to not repeat that performance.
"You can't play like that at the Olympics; you do that and you will find yourself 10, 12 points down and you can't stop it," he said.
"Our players are smart, they know that."
Worthington went down late in play after taking a knee to the groin, his condition was uncertain so he could miss the final game of the series.
The Australian Opals play Brazil at Bendigo Stadium tonight in game two of their series while the Boomers and Greece end their series in Geelong tomorrow night.
Australia 91 (J. Ingles 17, M. Worthington 15, B. Newley 13 points) d Greece 51 (N. Pappas 10, M. Giannakidis 8) at the State Basketball Centre.