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Boomers crowned Asian basketball champions

Australia are Asian basketball champions after beating Iran in the final of the Asia Cup in Lebanon.

Boomers crowned Asian basketball champions

Australia are Asian basketball champions after beating Iran in the final of the Asia Cup in Lebanon.

Australia are set to turn their attention to the 2019 World Cup after a second-string Boomers were crowned Asian basketball champions in Lebanon.

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Australia, ranked 10th in the world, accounted for Iran 79-56 in the Asia Cup final in Beirut on Sunday to win the tournament in their first appearance.


The Boomers were led by veteran forward Brad Newley with 18 points, while centre Daniel Kickert starred with 14 points and six rebounds to help see off world No.25 Iran.

Australia took a four-point lead into the first break after running out to an early 12-2 buffer.

But they never looked back following a 25-12 second quarter, with Mitch Creek scoring 12 points to cap off a strong campaign.

Former Memphis Grizzlies centre Hamed Haddadi, the tournament's most valuable player, scored 18 points for Iran.

Australia, made up of NBL players with overseas-based players unavailable, went through the Asia Cup undefeated.

The Andrej Lemanis-coached outfit were seldom troubled, winning their six games by an average 29 points.

They did it without star big man David Anderson, with the four-time Olympian sustaining a shoulder injury in a lead-up game.

"I'm really proud of the way the group developed over the course of the tournament," Lemanis told RSN radio.

"They showed improvement every game and ended up coming away with the title."

Despite their dominance, no Boomers were named in the tournament's All-Star five.

Australia will next turn their attention to reaching the World Cup in China in 2019, with Asian qualification to begin in November.

"Being our first time in the Asia Cup, it's been a great learning experience," Lemanis said.

"We had a frustrating Olympic campaign in 2016 but looking forward to moving forward with the group to see what we can get done.

"Come World Cup year in 2019, the reality is not every NBA player will be available. There will be spots available and this is an opportunity for guys to put their hand up."

South Korea defeated New Zealand 80-71 to claim third place.


AAP



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