The final eight clash for Rio Men’s Basketball begins with a bang when Australia meets its old foe Lithuania for the Quarterfinals starting Wednesday in the Carioca Arena, Rio de Janeiro Brazil.
Australian Boomers have performed impressively till now with 4-1 standing in Group A. They opened their game with double digit win over high-rated France and Serbia and lost against team USA with a slim margin. They comfortably trashed China and Venezuela later and look to push Lithuania behind to target USA.
Proficient and great play from Mathew Dellavedova, Patty Mills and Andrew Bogut collectively earned second place in Group A for Australia, with Boomers emerging already as most admired teams predicted to beat USA for gold.
Team Lithuania bounced back after 16-years of absence in Olympics to make their way to quarterfinals with the 3-2 record. Lithuanians has beaten Australian twice in the Olympics bronze medal matches in Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000. The team is also rated No. 3 in the world, however came off two unfavourable losses against Spain 109-59 and Croatia 90-81 after winning their opening games against Brazil, Nigeria, and Argentina. Jonas Valanciunas came out as a pivotal player in the entire Olympics currently in the top 10 centres counting points, rebounds, blocks and assists.
What to watch and expect?
For Australia, Mills is bound to explode getting major help from Dellevodova and Bogut to stun opponents. For Lithuania, Valanciunas will be dropping the highest points, while Kalnieties could be the key factor for the team. He has the average of 19.2 points and 8.0 assist per game since their start in Olympics.
It’s gonna be the highly-physical game when these two veteran team meet. If Australia manage to attack the basket and challenge their three-point defense, it would be easy to beat Lithuania. The time is now for Boomers to make history at Olympics, by notching out a single-digit win to battle semis.