After a host of fourth-place finishes, Australia finally got their hands on an Olympic medal, beating Slovenia 107-93 to win bronze in the Tokyo 2020 men’s basketball tournament.
The Australia Boomers finished in the dreaded fourth place in Seoul 1988, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and, more recently, Rio 2016 before finally getting their breakthrough in Tokyo.
Olympic veteran Patty Mills led from the front injecting passion and skill into the game while contributing a mammoth 42 points to the Boomers’ scoreline.
Slovenia, Olympic Games debutants, put up strong resistance in the first quarter trailing by a single point going into the second period.
But the Australians slowly but surely stamped down their authority with Mills proving a thorn in Slovenia’s side, landing three-pointers at crucial points of the contest.
While the Boomers banked on the brilliance of Mills, Slovenia’s star NBA player Luka Doncic looked unsettled with a heavily taped left wrist.
The Australians pulled well ahead in the third quarter, opening an 11-point lead going into the fourth and final quarter of the clash.
In the fourth period, they added 29 points to Slovenia’s 26 to drive the victory home to hand them an elusive Olympic medal.
Story first published on Olympics.com