The Boomers were riding high after their one-point win over Argentina Wednesday, only to have their confidence comprehensively smashed by Brazil this morning, going down 67-96.
Australia started the game as they finished their last, with stifling defence and scintillating offence, and led early 11-2, before a Nene and Marcelo Huertas (nine points, seven assists) led comeback saw the Brazilians take the halftime lead 43-29.
Coming out of the main break, and a concerted effort in the defensive pressure from the entire team saw the visitors fight their way back into the game, an 11-3 run which included a four-point play from Patty Mills and a three-point play from Ryan Broekhoff (six points) on the three-quarter time buzzer was able to provide some hope for the Australians.
Once the game was restarted it was clear Australia had no answer for the Brazilian post players, and the Aussies were often posted up by the bigger Brazilian guards. When Australia started double-teaming the post, the Brazilians had no problems punishing them from the three-point line.
The Boomers offence found its rhythm again late in the 3rd quarter, Matthew Dellavedova (six points, five assists) kick-started another attempted comeback with a three and later in the period a David Andersen triple was able to cut what was a 23 point down to single digits. Another surprise comeback seemed possible for the Boomers but ultimately it seemed this flurry of play from the Australians merely sparked Brazil back to life and they finished the game strongly with a 32-15 fourth quarter
Australia was without Joe Ingles, who was watching the game from the sidelines. But the biggest hole Australia needs to fill moving forward is rim protection – something only Andrew Bogut can provide, if he declares himself healthy.
NBA stars led both teams in scoring with Brazil Raul Neto from the Utah Jazz (17 points) and Patty Mills (18 Points) from San Antonio really being the marquee match-up of the game.
Australian’s did see some strong contribution from its NBL players from the bench, David Andersen (7 points), Cameron Bairstow (six points) and Kevin Lisch (six points).
In a prior interview, Andrej Lemanis said he expects that Bogut will announce his status by the 1st of August.
Australia has one more confirmed exhibition game before Rio, against Lithuania, 1.00am AEST on Sunday, July 31, before heading to Rio.