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Four NBL stars named in Boomers squad

Basketball Australia has announced the Boomers’ squad for the upcoming European tour and 2015 FIBA Oceania Championships, with Adam Gibson, Chris Goulding, Damian Martin and Brock Motum representing the NBL contigent. Running July 21 through August 5, the European tour will see the Boomers play Slovenia and Lithuania in all-important warm-up matches before the team returns home to Australia. Once in Melbourne, the Boomers will play the first leg of the 2015 FIBA Oceania Championships against the New Zealand Tall Blacks at Rod Laver Arena in front of what is expected to be a sold-out crowd and a live free-to-air audience on the Nine Network. The second leg takes place in Wellington, with the series decided by games won, or if tied by aggregate of total points. The winner will earn automatic qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. The twelve-man Australian Boomers team is completed by David Andersen, Cameron Bairstow, newly- crowned NBA Championship winner Andrew Bogut, Ryan Broekhoff, Matthew Dellavedova, Dante Exum, Nate Jawai and Brad Newley. The games will mark Bogut’s first appearance for the Boomers since the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, and the Rod Laver Arena match will be his first on Australian soil since 2006. Bogut’s NBA Finals rival, Dellavedova returns to Australia having captured the general public’s imagination with his tenacity for the Cleveland Cavaliers. “It’s an indication of the continued growth of Australian basketball on the world stage,” said Australian Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis. “Every team is only as strong as they are as a unit. The rest of the guys have had good seasons in their respective programs and continued to develop and grow. It’s the overall strength of the unit that will serve us well.” Although four of the seven representatives from the NBA will be on hand, Patty Mills, Aron Baynes and Joe Ingles will be missing from the team. Ticket sales for the match continue to illustrate the demand for basketball with under 2000 tickets now available for the double header at Rod Laver Arena on August 15, where the Jayco Australian Opals will play the New Zealand Tall Ferns ahead of the Boomers’ clash with the Tall Blacks. Lemanis urged Australian fans to get behind their team for the all-important match, saying there was nothing like being at the venue to be a part of the action. “You will see a group that’s prepared to play together, to play for one another,” he said. “The team’s going to be a disruptive defensive outfit and hopefully cause some issues with the way we play. Offensively we’re a team that’s prepared to share the ball, put some heat on the rim and play for the good of our teammates. For basketball fans, there’s plenty to be excited about.”
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