The Emerging Boomers have suffered a heartbreaking 82-80 loss to Ukraine in the semi-final of the men’s basketball competition.
With a spot in the gold medal match on the line, the Boomers came out firing before Ukraine got into their groove and lead at quarter time break 23-21.
Vice-Captain Will Magnay (Open Universities Australia) led from the front with his physicality and determination in the paint, scoring 15 first half points.
The UniRoos went into half-time with a 1-point lead which they held until a 12-0 run by Ukraine to start the fourth quarter gave Australia a monumental task.
Dejan Vasiljevic (University of Miami) stepped up in the fourth quarter, scoring 10 points in the final stanza as the UniRoos closed within 2 points. However, Ukraine managed to hold on, winning by 2 to send Australia into the bronze medal match against Israel on Thursday.
Coach Robert Beveridge was proud of his team’s efforts but admitted a lack of execution brought the team undone.
“We played them too much in the half court tonight and played to their strength,” Beveridge said.
“Europeans, especially Ukraine, excel in the half-court. And particularly for at least half the game they were in control”.
Captain Jack White (Duke University) once again showed his determination and fighting spirit, scoring 13 points to go with 8 rebounds, while Magnay topped with 20 points to go with 16 rebounds.
The Emerging Boomers now have to re-group and prepare for the bronze medal match against Israel in a re-match of their first group game of the tournament.
“Right now, it’s about licking your wounds and dealing with the disappointment of tonight. You’ve got to go through those emotions.”
“We’ll let them mull over it and then were back on the horse tomorrow.”
The bronze medal match will be played on Thursday 11th July at 17:30 CEST (1:30am Friday AEST). You can watch it live on FISU.TV.
Read the full Basketball Australia report HERE.