Boomers cruise to big win in Games opener

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Damian Martin and Canada’s Justus Alleyn battle for the ball in their Commonwealth Games clashIf this is a sign of things to come, the Boomers may as well start making plans for the Commonwealth Games gold medal ceremony.
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‘s men’s basketball team opened their account with a thumping 95-55 win over Canada in Cairns on Friday night – the Boomers more playing with their opposition than against it.

Every member of coach Andrej Lemanis’ squad received at least nine minutes of playing time – five players scoring in double-figures in the lop-sided win.

Veteran Damian Martin was only player not to get on the scoresheet.

The unselfishness Lemanis had been so enamoured with in training was on show – with 22 assists, compared to just eight from their opposition.

“We shared the ball really well. We’ve got to keep taking our opportunities to build as a group, so we can play finals basketball next week,” Lemanis said.

“There’s always some nervousness when we haven’t played a game since the end of the NBL season, so to get back into it was good.”

Daniel Kickert was ‘s best with 14 points from just seven shots, while both Nathan Sobey and Angus Brandt put together double-doubles.

Having lost big man Matt Hodgson on Games eve, the Boomers started the game without a true centre – forward Nick Kay manning the middle.

The home side struggled for cohesion as they fell behind 13-10, but a 15-0 run to close the quarter gave a lead they would never relinquish.

They outscored the youthful Canadian side – whose oldest player was younger than the Boomers’ youngest – by a double-figure margin in three of the four quarters.

Canada made just 38 per cent of their shots from the field and struggled to get to the free throw line, taking just four shots from the charity stripe compared to ‘s 28 free throws.

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