Boomers braced to meet start-studded USA

Andrej Lemanis said the Boomers will gain valuable experience from their win over Canada in Perth.
Andrej Lemanis said the Boomers will gain valuable experience from their win over Canada in Perth.

Not even a historic opportunity to defeat mighty USA will distract the Boomers from their focus of being primed for the upcoming basketball World Cup.

Australia recovered from an embarrassing 20-point thrashing to a third-string Canada in game one with a 81-73 follow up victory on Saturday night at RAC Arena.

But a more formidable challenge awaits against the USA boasting a roster brimming with NBA talent.

The Boomers travel to Melbourne for games against the two-time reigning World Cup champions on August 22 and 24 in their last warm-up games before travelling to China.

The USA are favourites for another title but appear more vulnerable than previous editions after a number of NBA superstars withdrew from the World Cup.

It looms as a golden chance for the Boomers to register a first ever victory over the USA, who have not lost when armed with NBA players since 2006.

But coach Andrej Lemanis said his team would not be focusing on the potential of slaying basketball's giants.

"I'm going to be boring...we just have to continue the process of establishing our identity and what works for us," Lemanis said.

"The challenge (against the USA) is how much do we be disruptive (on defence) versus being smart and keeping in front of them."

The Boomers lacked cohesion against Canada at times in turnover-strewn performances. Lemanis said the team was still developing chemistry and hoped for more cohesiveness against the USA.

"I still am really identifying who we are offensively and refining the roles of the players in this next week as we head to China," he said.

"That's what these games are about. We need to keep getting better and get something out of the USA games as we inch towards September 1."

Australia and Canada are both in Group H - dubbed the "Group of Death" - at the World Cup alongside basketball powerhouse Lithuania and Senegal. They clash on September 1 in an important opener for both teams.

Lemanis said it was a valuable learning experience playing Canada twice in Perth.

"I think you always learn something from the opponent but you also have shown something," he said. "We understand them a little bit better but we know they held some stuff back.

"No doubt they will play zone against us when we play next. It will be fun to see how that first game plays out."

Australian Associated Press