Day 6 Men: AUS 98 - NZL 80
Shane HEAL farewells the Boomers with 9 threes
ATHENS - The 9th/10th place Men's Basketball game between Australia and New Zealand turned into a one man show for retiring guard Shane HEAL, who hit a tournament record nine threes as the Boomers won the battle of the Oceania teams 98-77.
Playing in his fourth Olympic Games, the 34-year-old HEAL had a total of 30 points on 9/14 shooting from beyond the arc to guide Australia past the Tall Blacks.
HEAL was on target as Australia split the game open with a 13-0 first quarter run that took the score to 28-15 at the end of the period.
The Boomers led 48-34 at half time and when the game restarted HEAL was there to finish New Zealand with three consecutive shots from downtown, as the fourth placed team of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games beat the fourth placed team of the 2002 World Championships.
HEAL had hit an astounding nine of 10 attempts from three point range with four minutes remaining in the third quarter before missing his last four efforts.
For Australia, Matthew NIELSEN added 14 points and CJ BRUTON 11 points, while Phillip JONES led New Zealand with 26 points and received offensive help from Sean MARKS (11 pts) and Kirk PENNEY (9 pts).
It was HEAL's final game for Australia. He has played in one fewer Olympic Games than the legendary Andrew GAZE (AUS).
Matthew NIELSEN (AUS), Forward:
On the Olympic Tournament:
"It was a spectacular experience for me and for most of the members of my team, since we are a young team and we don't have been to such a tournament before. It was something special. We lost a few games in the last minute, which we could have won. We could have done it better and why not, qualify to the quarterfinals."
Phillip JONES (NZL), Guard
On their performance in the Olympic Tournament:
"We have been unlucky. I am a little disappointed from our performance. We had a slow start and we lost games in details. We tried really hard but we find it difficult."
Source: Athens news service