Boomers players celebrate their win over the Philippines on Thursday night.
Boomers players celebrate their win over the Philippines on Thursday night.

Boomers silence Philippines fans

AT 8:30PM the tide turned for the Boomers.

After an hour of play against the Philippines the Australians finally felt at "home" when the John Farnham classic "You're the Voice" blasted through the speakers at Margaret Court Arena.

Before the half-time sing-a-long the Aussies had been booed and jeered mercilessly by the Gilas Pilipinas' boisterous fans.

The visitors fed off the support, hitting the front in an inspired first-half performance.

But cool heads and experience prevailed in hostile territory as Mitch Creek and Cameron Gliddon led the Boomers to a clinical, 84-68, victory in front of a crowd of 6504.

The Boomers, who moved to the top of Group B, need only defeat bottom-placed Chinese Taipei on Sunday to advance to the second round of FIBA World Cup qualification.

Boomers star Matt Hodgson drives to the basket on Thursday night.
Boomers star Matt Hodgson drives to the basket on Thursday night.

Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis was thrilled with how the squad responded to the pro-Pilipinas crowd.

"I thought that was one of the most pleasing things," Lemanis said.

"With all that chaos going on, the Philippines up a little bit, and the crowd getting behind it, we did a good job of not panicking and played Boomers basketball.

"All you can control is what I'm going to do with this possession and not get fazed by anything else and I thought that was really good, the calmness of the group."

The Boomers knew what to expect from the Philippines, where basketball is the No. 1 sport.

"They get a great following anywhere they go," Lemanis warned the group before the game.

"It's quite possible that we walk in the stadium and it feels like we're away.

"The guys are ready for it and it's just a great precursor to what the game is going to be like in the Philippines, I can't wait, it's going to be awesome."

Australia’s Mitch Creek goes to ground diving after a loose ball during the match against the Philippines on Thursday night.
Australia’s Mitch Creek goes to ground diving after a loose ball during the match against the Philippines on Thursday night.

The Boomers hustled from whistle to whistle last night, especially in the second half when greater depth and experience proved to be the difference.

Boomers captain Jason Cadee led the way with 16 points, while experienced point guard Kevin Lisch (13pts) impacted in critical bursts off the bench.

Gilas Pilipinas stars June Fajardo (15pts) and Andrey Blatche (8pts, 7reb) provided some resistance before ultimately being unable to withstand the relentless Boomers.

"We spoke before the game about the fact that this would be a tough game and that we would need to play with a discipline and chemistry and be prepared to get into the grind for 40 minutes," Lemanis said.

AUSTRALIA 84 (C Gliddon 16 A Brandt 13 K Lisch 12) PHILIPPINES 68 (J Fajardo 15 M Wright 9 A Blatche 8) at Margaret Court Arena.


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