If Australia’s win against Serbia proves one thing, it is that the Boomers are the real deal at the 2016 Olympics.
Sure, their win against France was ultra impressive. They made a star-studded team look very ordinary with their pressure defence and an offence that was equal parts incisively scripted and poetry in motion.
But the win against Serbia, the 2014 World Cup silver medallists, says a great deal about Australia’s nerve, and their ability to overcome adversity.
Early on it was easy to see that the Boomers weren’t going to be handed a win. The crafty Serbs were as disruptive in defence as Australia had been two nights before, and their offence appeared geared to drawing as many ‘ghost fouls’ on our big men as possible. The Boomers’ shooting had all but deserted them for the first three-quarters – things were looking shaky.
Enter Matthew Dellavedova.
Like Bogut did on Sunday morning, the one we affectionately call Delly came to rescue in the third quarter, bringing 11 points on his way to a 23 point and 13 assist night – a performance Andrew Gaze has called one of the greatest of any individual in a Boomers singlet.
Australia raced off to a 15 point win on the back of a 33-17 fourth quarter, stunning the Serbians and likely causing the bookies to reassess the Boomers’ medal odds. The team’s ability to find a new hero for each of their wins speaks volumes to their depth and makes them harder for opposition teams to contain.
Rio has seen the greatest start ever for the Boomers, who are undefeated in two games, and remarkably both have been against European powerhouses. Australia is in good shape to in the top two of Pool A, granting them a winnable quarterfinal matchup and their best chance ever at reaching the podium.
The Boomers spent much of the lead-up to the Olympics talking the talk, but now they’re walking the walk.