By David McPherson
The road ahead for the Australian Boomers Asia Cup campaign is now clearer after FIBA released its schedule for the first Asia-Oceania joint continental championship.
Australia will face Japan, Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei in group D, with its first game against Japan on August 8 at 11pm AEST.
The Boomers will be the highest-ranked team in Lebanon, sitting 10th in the FIBA world rankings. China is the second-ranked team and is in 14th position.
The 20-man Australian squad is drawn mainly from the NBL, with only Lithuanian-based Ben Madgen and Belgian-based Clint Steindl not having current Australian contracts.
Three members of the squad, Chris Goulding, Kevin Lisch and David Anderson, played for the Boomers in Rio.
Head coach Andrej Lemanis says the tournament will provide the team with an opportunity to continue to develop its on and off court identity.
“We obviously want to win whenever we step on the floor, and the FIBA Asia Cup is no different,” he said.
“The FIBA Asia Cup provides us with an opportunity to develop and find out about ourselves and where we might sit in the new Asia/Oceania zone.”
The FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers begin in November.
The Australian Opals will also see where they sit with Asia’s best when they compete in the Women’s Asia Cup in India from July 23 to 29.
Men’s Schedule for the FIBA Asia Cup (AEST):
Game 1: Australia vs. Japan August 8 @ 11pm
Game 2: Australia vs. Hong Kong August 10 @ 11pm
Game 3: Australia vs. Chinese Taipei August 12 @ 11pm
Quarter-Finals: August 17
Semi-Finals: August 19
Bronze and gold medal games: August 20
Women’s Schedule for the FIBA Asia Cup (AEST):
Game 1: Australia vs. Korea July 23 @ 3:30am
Game 2: Australia vs. Philippines July 24 @ 5:45pm
Game 3: Australia vs. Japan July 25 @ 5:45pm
Quarter-Finals: July 27
Semi-Finals: July 28
Bronze and gold medal games: July 29