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Andersen to link up with Boomers
Guy Hand
14:27 AEST Fri Jul 6 2012

The final piece of the Boomers' Olympic Games puzzle is ready to slot in.

For David Andersen, the question is where exactly that will be.

The soon-to-be three-time Olympian joins his Australian men's basketball teammates for their camp at the Gold Coast starting on Saturday after missing the recent series against Greece.

But what role he will play in London - whether he starts or is brought into games off the bench - remains the most vexing question for Boomers coach Brett Brown.

Able to play as a power forward or centre, the 32-year-old should have a major role to play, especially in the absence of injured NBA star Andrew Bogut.

But the emergence of Aleks Maric as the Boomers' likely starting centre and with skipper Matt Nielsen almost certain to start in the four spot, Andersen's initial role may well be off the bench.

Brown is a big believer that who starts games isn't as important as who finishes them.

And he is excited that Andersen is finally linking up with the other 11 Boomers after helping his Italian club Montepaschi Siena to the league title a fortnight ago.

"You look at how do you start the game and how you do end the game?" Brown said.

"Right now, Al's our starting centre. Maybe something happens, but right now I'm targeting him to start the game.

"To end the game, it's based on match-ups, who are reliable free-throw shooters."

Without Andersen, the Boomers showed good signs in a clean sweep of their three-match series against understrength Greece late last month.

Back-up centre Aron Baynes was also impressive, giving Brown a neat selection of bigs to take to London with the addition of Andersen.

The Greece series reinforced Brown's confidence the Boomers have the ability to win a medal if results and the right crossover match-up in the quarter-finals go their way.

During the Gold Coast camp, the Boomers will find out who their other Olympics group opponent will be after the Games qualifying tournament is completed in Venezuela at the weekend.

They will spend a week in camp at the Gold Coast, before leaving for lead-up games in Europe against world No.2 Spain, France and Brazil.

Their Olympic Games opener is against Brazil on July 29.

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