Australia have won again, beating France 100 – 98 and remaining unbeaten in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Basketball tournament.
The quarterfinal is next and the narrow win over France enables the Boomers to avoid a game with the United States for the moment, even though the Boomers won an exhibition in Australia ahead of the start of World Cup.
It was a classic for an objective basketball fan.
The score was tied with five seconds on the clock when Matthew Dellavedova put his team ahead after sinking a crucial free throw.
He missed his second attempt and France got the ball back, only before the French had the ball stolen away by Patty Mills.
Australia have now won five straight and even the French coach, Vincent Collet, had to admire the drama of the game, simply describing the game as, “Amazing.”
The Boomers are now in the top spot in the second-phase pool and they avoid the U.S. until the final, assuming that Australia continue and the U.S. does as well.
Australia is on the right path to gaining it first final-four appearance and they will now play next in Shanghai in a day’s time, while France has the unenviable task of beating the U.S. to remain relevant in the final results.
Patty Mills is the man of the moment, the man of the tournament so far as Australia is concerned after another 30-point performance.
Aron Baynes remains solid and was accurate from three-point range, throwing in five for 15 of his 21 points. Joe Ingles scored 23 and in the bargain, limited his Utah Jazz teammate and French representative Rudy Gobert.
France showed indications of taking control in the third quarter, when they went up by nine points. Three pointers by Mills and Ingles brought the Boomers to within four at the start of the final period.
It was back and forth for the remainder, as much a test of will as of skill, as the lead changed hands on big baskets.
When the final buzzer sounded, Australia had the lead and the win and could exhale securely, knowing that France could not do anything with time expired.
Collet was generous with his assessment of the game and the Boomers’ effort, saying, “This game was amazing, probably the best since the beginning of the tournament. It was outstanding, very often.”