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Barlow returns to Beijing

The CPA Australia NBL All Australian Tour has marked the long-awaited return of David Barlow to the court; after being sidelined all of the 2015/16 NBL season recovering from an Achilles injury. The final game of the tour will take place tonight at the Beijing National Stadium – and will be the first time Barlow has returned the arena since his Olympic debut in 2008. “It’s pretty cool to be back at this stadium. During the Olympics, we used to call it the French Fry Stadium. When you look at it from the outside from far enough, it looks yellow and stick-like; just like there are French fries all over it,” said Barlow. “It’s changed a little bit since then, there’s a logo on the side now. But it certainly brought back some memories – going under the tunnel, running out for the games.” Suiting up in the green and gold alongside Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills and Joe Ingles, the Australian Boomers faced a stacked Team USA line-up in the quarter-finals. Barlow finished with five points and four rebounds, to  go with the daunting task of guarding two-time NBA MVP LeBron James. “I was matched up against LeBron. That wasn’t actually the first time I had played against him, but he’s very athletic, strong and heavy for that position, for the three. “He is obviously a phenomenal player all-round, but in saying that - he was Team USA that day. “He wasn’t going at it to try and get 30 points like he does in an NBA game, so he was more passive in that setting and I wasn’t guarding him in full force.” “Their whole team is like a freight train coming at you. If you turn the ball over, that’s a dunk for them. They are such an exact science.” Team USA boasted the likes of Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, Jason Kidd and Carmelo Anthony and went on to eliminate Australia 116-85. The now retired Kobe Bryant went on a 25-point haul to progress to Americans to the semi-finals. They were later awarded with Gold Medals. Barlow enters the Beijing National Stadium tonight in another green and gold uniform, this time representing the NBL on their tour of China, as the league makes an important move towards broadening their links to Asia. “I’ve been so pumped up for these games because I haven’t been able to play in such a long time. I’m really enjoying it and it’s been a great experience,” said Barlow. “For me personally, it’s another stepping stone of my recovery from injury, which has been very, very annoying. “Every time you get on a court you want to win, and I want to beat them. It’s important for us as an NBL side to be able to beat a national team, and prove how good our league actually is. “I think we’ve done a good job of representing the NBL so far, now we just want to get the win on the world stage.” Catch the final game of the CPA Australia NBL All Australian Tour tonight LIVE on FOX SPORTS 503 or free from nbl.com.au/china. Click HERE for the game preview.
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