Two of Tasmania’s most successful basketball exports have helped an NBL All-Australian team to a series win in China.
Launceston-born Adam Gibson and Chris Goulding are in the team that clinched victory with wins in the first two of three games.
Both are proven internationals – Gibson being a part of the Boomers’ 2012 Olympic campaign in London and with Goulding helping the team to Commonwealth Games gold on the Gold Coast in April. Both are also NBL regulars, with Brisbane Bullets and Melbourne United respectively.
Having won game one 64-52 in Jiyuan on Friday, the Australians backed up with a much tighter 58-55 victory on Sunday in Hengyang.
Game three will be in Beijing on Tuesday.
Coach Andrej Lemanis was full of praise for point guard Gibson after the opening game win. “He knows the system really well and gives that understanding and organisation and that little bit of defensive toughness,” he said.
Goulding grabbed the spotlight in game two, top scoring with 16 points. Two late three-pointers from Zhao Tailong put the hosts in front before Goulding nailed a three-pointer and Cameron Gliddon iced the result.
The Australian squad is packed with experience and also includes Goulding’s Melbourne United teammate David Barlow plus David Andersen (Illawarra Hawks) and Brad Newley (Sydney Kings).
Shooting guard Goulding has also been named in the Boomers team for the FIBA world cup qualifiers against Japan (June 29) and the Philippines (July 2).
The team, which has already beaten Chinese Taipei (104-66), Japan (82-58), Philippines (84-68) and Chinese Taipei (88-68), includes NBA stars Matthew Dellavedova and Thon Maker.