Rio Olympics: Men’s basketball team to play for bronze after Boomers lose to Serbia

Serbian Milan Macvan reacts after scoring against Australia during the men's basketball semi-final at the Rio Olympics. Picture: Jamie Squire/Getty Images.
Serbian Milan Macvan reacts after scoring against Australia during the men's basketball semi-final at the Rio Olympics. Picture: Jamie Squire/Getty Images.

THE Boomers’ dismal Olympic semi-final record continued with an 87-61 loss to Serbia on Saturday morning.

Besides shutting down impressive Serbian guard Milos Teodosic for part of the second quarter, Perth Wildcats captain Damian Martin had little impact on the game in just under eight minutes on the court.

Australia entered the game having lost each of its last three Olympic semi-finals by more than 20 points and that trend continued in a game to forget for the tournament upstarts.

The Boomers could manage only 14 points in a woeful first half, their previously free-flowing offence hamstrung by poor passing which resulted in 11 turnovers up to the main break.

During that period, Australia shot just six of 29 from the field, including two of 14 from beyond the arc.

While ineffective ball movement and a hesitance to take open looks played a role, Serbia’s defence deserves the majority of the credit, the Serbs racking up nine steals and harassing the Boomers all over the court to prevent them from establishing any kind of rhythm.

Teodosic had the hot hand early, scoring 12 of Serbia’s 34 first half points until Martin checked in midway through the second quarter and applied the shackles.

Teodosic was held scoreless for the remainder of the term but it hardly seemed to matter with the Boomers unable to buy a bucket, rebound or trip to the charity stripe.

Offensivley, things improved slightly for the Boomers in the third quarter but at the other end of the court Serbia continued to score freely to maintain its lead.

The Serbs consistently spread the ball around to find the open man and finished with four players in double figures, led by Teodosic with 22 points and five assists.

Patty Mills and Brock Motum both had 13 points each for Australia, but the majority of those came in the fourth quarter when the result was already beyond doubt.

Martin finished with a steal, block, rebound and assist.