Tokyo Olympics: Australia’s Boomers challenge Slovenia in a bronze medal match

Australia basketball team challenges Slovenia in a bronze medal match after beating Olympic favorites USA

  • Boomers lost to the US 97-78 after entering the third quarter with a 3-point lead
  • Australia will now compete for the bronze medal against Slovenia on Saturday evening
  • Aussies have never won an Olympic medal and are determined to break the pattern

The Australian Boomers’ dream of winning an Olympic gold medal has been shattered, but the team can still take home bronze as they prepare to face Slovenia.

The Australian basketball players went all out in their semi-final against the powerhouse team USA and led by three points at halftime before eventually going down 97-78.

The team was understandably crushed and had never won an Olympic medal, even with stars like Patty Mills and Joe Ingles on the field.

Slovenia lost to France in their 90-89 half and will fight for the bronze medal against the Boomers on Saturday night at 9pm AEST.

The Australian Boomers’ dream of winning an Olympic gold medal has been shattered, but the team can still get away with a bronze as they prepare to face Slovenia (pictured is Boomers star Patty Mills)

In the game, players like Slovenian star and NBA player Luka Doncic will give away 16 points and 18 assists in the game against the French.

The Boomers held a 15-point lead over team USA with five minutes remaining in the second quarter before breaking free at the expense of American Kevin Durant who set aside 23 points.

Captain Mills only had 15 points on 5/14 shooting in a disappointing display from the new Brooklyn Nets point guard.

Australian Jock Landale (center) reacts alongside teammate Matthew Dellavedova (right) after their loss to the US

Australian Jock Landale (center) reacts alongside teammate Matthew Dellavedova (right) after their loss to the US

A third quarter of 32-10 for the US saw the Boomers track enter its final term with 19, with Australia unable to eat the lead.

The USA, which has won the last three Olympic gold medals, are heavy favorites to make it four in a row.

American coach Gregg Popovich praised his former point guard Mills, whom he coached for nine years with the San Antonio Spurs and won a championship together.

Popovich praised Mills as a “special” person ahead of their showdown in Thursday’s Olympic semifinals.

“I’ve said so many things about Patty Mills that his head is already huge,” Popovich joked to reporters after signing with the Nets on Wednesday.

The Aussies went all out in their semifinal game against powerhouse team USA and led by three points at half time before going down 97-78

The Aussies went all out in their semi-final game against powerhouse team USA and led by three points at halftime before going down 97-78

Australia led by 15 minutes in the first half, but only led by three at the main break in their semi-final with USA

Australia led by 15 minutes in the first half, but only led by three at the main break in their semi-final with USA

Audience favorite Patty Mills reacts disappointed during the second half of Thursday's game

Audience favorite Patty Mills reacts disappointed during the second half of Thursday’s game

“He’s a great, unique basketball player with a heart the size of this building. He loves his country; he loves his teammates. He is their leader and off the field he is an even better person than on the field. So he’s pretty special.’

The US coach admitted he was sad when he saw the devastation on Mills’ face.

“Of course I’m very happy with the win, but when I looked him in the eye (after the game) I felt bad,” said the coach.

“They have a lot of camaraderie and history and culture and they want it just as much as we do.

“That was a bit of a shame, but that’s what we all do, we all try to win.”

Saturday night’s game will be the Boomers’ fifth attempt at a bronze medal at the Olympics.

The Boomers lost to Serbia 26 in 2016, France 24 in 2000, the US 28 in 1996 and Yugoslavia 21 in 1988.

They also coughed up a 15-point lead to lose to France in the battle for third place at the 2019 World Cup.

The Boomers will now compete for bronze against Slovenia on Saturday evening at 9 p.m. in Tokyo

The Boomers will now compete for bronze against Slovenia on Saturday evening at 9 p.m. in Tokyo

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