• Home
  • News
  • Basketball bronze on the line

Basketball bronze on the line

21 August 2016

BASKETBALL: Australia will face Spain for the bronze medal and a place in the history books in the men’s basketball competition.

Three times previously the Australian men’s team has played for the bronze medal and on each occasion fallen short.

The 2016 edition is considered by most experts as the finest men’s team to contest an Olympic Games and, with five wins from seven games in Rio, a medal is within reach.

Spain started the tournament slowly but has hit good form as the Olympics have gone on.

The Spanish squad won silver at the past two Olympics and narrowly went down to the United States in the semi-final, 82-76.

Serbia ended Australia’s gold medal hopes in the semi-final by winning 87-61, but the Aussies believe they will respond well to that loss.

“We have an opportunity and want to make the most of it,” guard Matthew Dellavedova said.

“We have to come out on the front foot.

“Spain is a powerhouse. They’ve been good for a number of years.”

Coach Andrej Lemanis expects his team to be ready for the challenge ahead.

“I know this group and the pride they have in the way they play the game and the way they represent Australian basketball on the international stage,” Lemanis said.

“It’s an opportunity to do something that men’s basketball that hasn’t been achieved before.

“The pride in the group, the desire to showcase Australian basketball. I’m confident that we will come out and play the right way.

“It’s the first time we have been challenged in the tournament where things haven’t gone our way and it’s a good test of character to ensure we bounce back and come out and represent ourselves in the bronze medal game.”

Patty Mills leads the Australians in scoring at 19.8 points per game, third highest average in the tournament.

Dellavedova is second in assists at 6.9 per game, while Andrew Bogut (10.3 points) and Aron Baynes (10.1 points) are also averaging in double figures.

Pau Gasol has led the Spanish team well, averaging 17.9 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.

The game will tip-off on Sunday at 11:30am on Sunday in Rio (12:30am Monday AEST).

Kevin Diggerson

olympics.com.au

Related News

High flying weekend as Australia reach Fed Cup final

High flying weekend as Australia reach Fed Cup final

23 April 2019

The red-hot Ash Barty and Sam Stosur teamed up to defeat Belarus in the deciding doubles match of the Fed Cup semifinal to send Australia to the final for the first time since 1993.

Tahli Moore - The curveball that changed my life

Tahli Moore - The curveball that changed my life

23 April 2019

Softballer Tahli Moore was on the cusp of reaching the prime of her career, before she was dealt both a career and life-threatening blow, leaving the game she loved, completely off-limits.

National Swimming Champs wrap up as legends go back in time

National Swimming Champs wrap up as legends go back in time

17 April 2019

The 2019 National Swimming Championships ended with a bang when Australian Olympians spanning several decades came together for the Legends Relay, finalising a record-breaking competition with some exciting nostalgia