Dominant Dellavedova gives Boomers perfect World Cup start
You can't keep a champion down for too long.
That was the storyline at the Dongguan Basketball Centre on Sunday night as Australian guard Matthew Dellavedova rediscovered his shooting mojo to help the Boomers start their World Cup campaign in style with a hard fought 108-92 victory over Canada.
In their first major tournament match since the heartbreak of finishing fourth at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the Boomers produced a purposeful team performance to surge past the Canadians.
The Australians had six players scoring in double figures but Dellavedova was the star, finishing with 24 points - including 6 of 10 from beyond the arc.
The Cleveland Cavaliers star struggled to produce his well-known shooting range during Australia's World Cup warm-up matches.
Dellavedova was quiet in some games but he found his form against the Canadians.
Matthew Dellavedova caught fire in the Boomers' win over Canada!— FOX Basketball (@FoxBasketball) September 1, 2019
'Delly' has toiled tirelessly on his new shot release and it is starting to show.
"I feel really comfortable," Dellavedova said pre-game.
"I've put a lot of work into it throughout the off-season and I feel like it has been really good for me."
Dellavedova's masterclass helped the Boomers improve their record against Canada to 3-6 since the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne.
There was a strong contingent of Aussie supporters in the crowd, including one parochial group with bright yellow t-shirts and a giant-sized inflatable boxing kangaroo.
The Boomers fed off this passionate support overcome a resilient Canada side, who refuse to go away.
The Australians looked comfortable leading by 12 points at halftime before the Canadians came to life with a scintillating scoring run.
Canada went on a 16-0 run to start the third quarter before the Boomers found their feet in the fourth to claim a crucial win.
Melbourne United star Chris Goulding, who scored 16 points off the bench, was happy with the win but insisted the Boomers are far from the polished product, especially in defence.
"It was good to start the tournament with a win," Goulding said.
"Our first half we showed that we can do some really good stuff but we also showed that we weren't were we need to be defensively.
"Canada are a great team and they showed that by pulling back a little bit towards the end of the half.
"We weren't ready to go at the start of the third and when you are playing quality opposition they can put points on the board pretty quickly.
"We got slapped in the face a little bit but we realised the situation we were in, picked it up a little bit and managed to get a solid win."
Australia now face Senegal in their second Group H clash on Tuesday from 5.30pm (AEST).
The Boomers require at least one more win to progress to the second round.
Australia has never been further than the World Cup quarter-finals in the nation's history.
In a further boost to Australia's chances of qualifying for the 2020 Olympics, New Zealand lost their opening game to Brazil 102-94.
The Boomers must finish above the Tall Blacks to book their seat to Tokyo.
BOGUT THRIVES DESPITE BOOS
Andrew Bogut received a raucous boo from Chinese crowd every time he touched the ball but he impressed in his first game since spraining his right ankle against Germany this week.
Bogut scored on first touch before finishing with 12 points and 9 rebounds.
The Sydney Kings big man must consistently produce in the paint for Australia to progress to the second stage.
LANDALE CONTINUES RISE
Rising big man Jock Landale deserves huge praise following a standout display.
Landale did a strong job starting the match while he had 8 points and 6 rebounds.
Ingles praised the Geelong Grammar School product for his impressive contribution on the international stage to date.
"He is a great kid," Ingles said.
"He works his arse off and he has showed what he can do and how effective he can be."
INGLES IS BACK
Joe Ingles has looked passive throughout Australia's World Cup warm-up games but he found his range and voice against Canada.
Ingles dropped a three-pointer with his first shot before finishing with 13 points in an impressive display.
The Utah Jazz star was also a menace in defence with his hustle and vocal presence.
Melbourne United star Chris Goulding also added 16 vital points.
Goulding will be a real key for the Boomers off the bench throughout this World Cup campaign.