Australia beat Lebanon 75-73 in Jakarta to win second consecutive FIBA ​​Asia Cup

A mostly young Boomers side overcame a nervous ending to retain the FIBA ​​Asia Cup for Men with a 75-73 victory over Lebanon in the final in Jakarta.

Australia never trailed and held a double-digit advantage for much of the game, but were outscored 30-19 in the final quarter on Sunday.

He was up 16 points in the second quarter and 15 with just over six minutes left, but Lebanon scored a point with just over five seconds left after a three-point shot from the Cedars captain and goaltender. starring Wael Arakji.

Rhys Vague made one of two free throws to give Australia their final two-point margin of victory, with Lebanese big man Ali Haidar off target with a last-second three-point attempt.

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“We were playing good for a while and it felt really good about the way we were playing and keeping a lead – and the next thing you know is a dogfight,” the Boomers interim coach said. , Mike Kelly.

“It comes down to being able to make shots, make free throws, and they did that better than us in the fourth and we had enough interest in the first three quarters to cash in on that in the fourth, and we we held on.

The Aussies, who were 6-0 in the tournament but were without all of their current NBA players, didn’t help themselves by making just eight of 21 free throws.

Thon Maker led the way in the final.(AP: Tatan Syuflana)

Boomers center Thon Maker maintained his impressive form throughout the tournament until the end, with 14 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and three assists, delivering spectacular dunks.

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Captain Mitch McCarron and fellow guard and 18-year-old Tyrese Proctor scored 12 and 10 respectively, the latter netting two free throws in the final 10 seconds.

Arakji was limited to six points in the first half, but scored 15 points in the final quarter and finished with 28, making five of six three-point attempts.

Haidar was Lebanon’s only other offensive threat, scoring 23-58% from the field and it proved difficult to stop near the basket.

Maker and McCarron each made the tournament’s All-Star Five, as did Arakji, who was named the competition’s MVP after averaging 26 points per game.

McCarron was the only Boomers player to also feature in Australia’s 2017 win.

Young guards Proctor and William McDowell-White performed well in Jakarta, with forwards Sam Froling and Keanu Ponder bringing energy to the front court.

“[I’m] so super proud of the band.”

New Zealand won their first men’s Asian Cup medal, claiming bronze by beating Jordan 83-75 in the third-fourth place play-off.

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AAP

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