In just a few hours’ time, the Boomers will have to face the Lithuanian basketball squad and win if they are to maintain their hopes of an eventual gold medal match against the U.S. in the 2016 Rio Olympics basketball tournament.
Lithuania won twice previously in bronze medal matches in the Atlanta Games in 1996 and the Sydney Games in 2000.
The Aussies will seem to have the upper hand for this meeting, as they finished second to the U.S. in Group A, whilst the Lithuanians would up in third position in Group B. Over the entire competitive pool, Australia is ranked second and Lithuania seventh.
If the Boomers can advance beyond Lithuania, they will go against the winner of Croatia versus Serbia.
The U.S. squad for once appears vulnerable, even though undefeated, after close games against the Boomers, Serbia and France.
In women’s basketball play, the Opals lost to Serbia, 73 – 71, prematurely ending what started out as a promising quest for an Olympic medal. It is the first time in five Olympics that the Opals have failed to produce a medal, the last occasion being the 1992 Barcelona Games.
Poor possession management, particularly 26 turnovers, more or less doomed the Opals, but they were further hampered by officiating that left much to be desired.