THE Boomers have further enhanced their Rio Olympic medal hopes after a phenomenal performance by Matthew Dellavedova set up a thrilling 95-80 win over Serbia.
Two days after upsetting fifth-ranked France, Australia claimed another huge scalp against the world’s No.6 side to maintain a perfect start in Brazil.
Andrej Lemanis ‘ team is now virtually assured of reaching the knockout stages and will head into Wednesday’s (Thursday’s AEST) blockbuster with Team USA full of confidence.
Dellavedova impressed with his trademark hustle and creativity against France, but against Serbia his scoring prowess was on show too.
The recently-crowned NBA star scored a game-high 23 points, including three three-pointers, and also had a whopping 13 assists to post a double-double. Patty Mills was brilliant again, also finishing with 26 points.
The win came despite early foul trouble for Andrew Bogut, who played limited minutes after copping three foul in the second quarter and another in the fourth – but still made a huge contribution with 12 rebounds and six assists.
The Boomers got off to a flyer on the back of Dellavedova’s 10-point first quarter. But the Serbs, led by outstanding seven footer Miroslav Raduljica (25 points), worked their way back into it.
With Bogut off the floor, converted their momentum into a 43-40 halftime lead.
Serbia came out firing in the second half, hitting three straight threes before Dellavedova helped Australia back on level terms
The Milwaukee-bound guard put his body on the line time again, copping a nasty whack to the head from fellow NBA star Nikola Jokic, but gave as good as he got, picking up his fourth foul midway through the final quarter.
The final quarter was thrilling but Australia pulled away as Mills, Dellavedova and Joe Inglies kept the scoreboard ticking over and the Boomers again received great service from the whole squad.