Because the calendar ticked over to 2020, the countdown to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics turns into much more actual.
For Australian basketball, the extent of anticipation and pleasure is arguably reaching ranges by no means seen earlier than down below.
Positive, the Opals have been perennial medal contenders on the world stage, however now the Boomers have joined them as a real menace to win maybe a primary ever medal for the lads’s program at any main occasion. With 3×Three basketball additionally set to debut in Tokyo, the Australian ladies are additionally a practical likelihood to win a medal if they will handle to qualify.
Opals aiming to return to medal dais
Whereas the Opals gained silver on the 2018 FIBA World Cup, Sandy Brondello’s world quantity two ranked squad has not had it simple. They completed simply third on the 2019 FIBA Asia Cup behind China and Japan, and can be seeking to restore their standing by making a medal run in Tokyo.>
But earlier than any Tokyo marketing campaign could be deliberate, the Opals should safely navigate their manner by means of the Olympic Qualifying Match in Bourges, France. Drawn as a primary seed, the Opals will duel with world quantity 5 ranked France, South American powerhouse Brazil (15) and Puerto Rico (23)within the occasion to happen from February 6-9, 2020. Australia wants to complete within the prime Three of their group to earn a ticket to Japan, and they need to be capable of safely accomplish that.
After incomes 5 consecutive medals on the Olympics from 1996 onward, the Opals missed the medal rounds at 2016 Rio. Will probably be an aberration that Brondello and the squad can be seeking to appropriate in Tokyo. Nevertheless to take action, they might want to utilise the plain expertise of Liz Cambage, whereas on the lookout for an answer to stop opposition groups taking exploiting of their lack of foot pace within the again court docket – one thing each China and Japan each took full benefit off within the Asia Cup. Do that, and the Opals will be capable of reside as much as their quantity 2 world rating and look to push for a return to the medal dais come early August.
Boomers regroup for that elusive medal
Fourth in Rio 4 years in the past after which once more in China on the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Each occasions noticed the Boomers go nearer than ever earlier than to incomes that first ever elusive medal in a serious occasion.
In between Rio and China, the Boomers clinched a debut FIBA Asia Cup, and with their sustained success throughout the previous 4 years, elevated to an unprecedented world rating of quantity three on this planet within the newest rankings launched after China.
To win at a serious occasion, it requires sustained success throughout your entire event. Outgoing Boomers head coach Andrej Lemanis led the Boomers to the cusp of a primary ever medal, and now the baton will cross to present Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown. A former Boomers head coach himself, Brown is tasked with main the core group of Aussie NBA stars that features Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, Aron Baynes and Matthew Dellavedova to the promised land.
It’s thought that with Brown on the helm, he could possibly lure Ben Simmons into the fold, and with Ryan Broekhoff and Dante Exum each in good type within the NBA, it paves the way in which for the Boomers to subject maybe one of the best ever squad of 12. With Andrew Bogut possible suiting up for his final ever nationwide staff marketing campaign, the Boomers are as soon as once more on the cusp of one thing particular.
In Rio, the Boomers captured the creativeness of the Australian public of their thrilling run to their bronze medal marketing campaign, and had been the best score sport on the 7 Community’s Olympic protection. But regardless of taking part in a few of the most engaging team-oriented basketball on the occasion, they might miss out on a medal in controversial circumstances.
For Australia’s present NBA stars to etch their names into sporting folklore and be capable of name themselves one of the best Boomers staff ever, they have to be capable of surpass the fourth positioned Boomers groups of Atlanta and Sydney. These had been groups constructed across the likes of legendary gamers together with Andrew Gaze, Shane Heal, Mark Bradtke, Andrew Vlahov and Sam Mackinnon. Proper now, the present Boomers are on a par with their predecessors, however a a medal in August would assist alter that and additional enhance the game again dwelling in Australia.
Aussie ladies may win inaugural 3×Three gold
The latest sport on the Olympics in 3×Three basketball, and the Australian ladies, ought to they qualify, are a practical likelihood to make a cost in the direction of the rostrum in Tokyo.
As 2019 3×Three Asia Cup champions, the Aussie ladies have loved nice success on the world stage within the shorter type of the sport, courting again to once they gained silver on the 2012 3×Three World Cup in Athens, Greece.
Final yr’s 3×Three Asia Cup MVP, Bec Cole has been the mainstay of the Australian ladies’s staff and its present highest ranked participant (44th on this planet). The Southside Flyers WNBL star is predicted to guide the Australian’s quest to qualify for Tokyo.
Cole, Alice Kunek, Keely Froling and Maddie Garrick virtually led Australia to a medal on the FIBA 3×Three World Cup in June 2019. A heartbreaking time beyond regulation loss to China within the semi remaining noticed them tackle France within the playoff for bronze earlier than ending fourth.
Australia’s pathway to qualifying for Tokyo includes a grueling event as one in all 20 groups vying for simply Three tickets to the Olympics. The Aussie ladies will enter the Olympic Qualification Match because the lowest ranked Federation (28th), they usually have been pooled with Asian rivals Japan (11th), Ukraine (14th) and Turkmenistan (22nd) to compete in India for a doable Olympic berth this March.
The Aussie ladies have at all times belied their world rating standing on the three×Three world stage, so it will be no shock in the event that they qualifying for the inaugural Olympic occasion.