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Boomers get reminder of what lies ahead
Guy Hand
09:39 AEST Thu Jun 28 2012

For the Boomers, it was the reality check they hope to take to the bank at the Olympic Games.

Australia's men's basketball captain Matt Nielsen says a third quarter lapse which nearly proved costly before the Boomers closed out a series clean sweep against Greece on Wednesday night provides a timely reminder to his London-bound team.

The Boomers eventually won 79-58, but the margin was made far more flattering with a couple of late three-pointers to Peter Crawford.

Until then, the Boomers were in struggle-town, and nearly departing for the Games with defeat to a weakened Greece team they had belted in two previous encounters.

"It just wasn't good enough - we know that. Those are the lapses that can give you a lot of problems in what we're aiming to do," Nielsen said.

"Maybe it's better off to have one now that sticks in our minds.

"Maybe after getting a 40-point win, it doesn't hurt to have a moment like that to keep it real."

The Boomers were held to just six points in the third quarter, and let a 17-point halftime lead slip to five by three-quarter-time.

Nielsen gave a fiery rev-up to his players as they gathered near the bench at the break.

He was pleased with how they responded - and on balance how they performed against Greece throughout the three games.

The Boomers won by 27, 40 and 21 points, and showcased a lot more depth to the team than just NBA star Patty Mills - who starred in game one but was quiet in games two and three.

Nielsen believes the biggest positive to come out of the series is proof they could be the fittest team in London - something which can take them a long way.

"I probably was negative (about the third quarter) but you have to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. We've made some big steps," said Nielsen, who is bound for his third Olympics.

"The fitness level that we've got is phenomenal for what we need.

"We're going to run out (games) and play our defence, and when you look at the way we played two of those three games, we've got the right focus and we're building the right way."

The Boomers regather at a training camp on the Gold Coast on July 7, ahead of Olympic lead-up matches against world No.2 Spain, Brazil and France in Europe later that month.

Australia's Olympic Games opener is against Brazil on July 29.

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Opening Ceremony
Archery
Athletics
Badminton
Basketball
Beach Volleyball
Boxing
BMX
Cycling
Diving
Equestrian
Fencing
Football
Gymnastics
Handball
Hockey
Judo
Modern Pentathlon
Rowing/Canoe/Kayak
Sailing
Shooting
Swimming
Synchro
Table Tennis
Taekwondo
Tennis
Triathlon
Volleyball
Water Polo
Weightlifting
Wrestling
Closing ceremony
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