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Bullets forward Daniel Kickert says NBL players must step up for Boomers in FIBA Asia Cup

BOOMERS and Brisbane Bullets forward Daniel Kickert says Australia will enter the FIBA Asia Cup with a legitimate “target ’’ on the back of their green and gold singlets.

The Boomers have the highest world ranking (10th) of the 16 nations that will gather in Lebanon for the tournament from August 8-20 ahead of China (14th) and New Zealand (20th).

Daniel Kickert in action for the Bullets.
The Boomers squad is made up of NBL players with Australia’s NBA contingent unavailable for selection.

There is a strong Queensland flavour in the 12-man side that will be coached by Brisbane Bullets head coach Andrej Lemanis.

The maroon-grown quartet of Todd Blanchfield, Mitch McCarron, Matthew Hodgson and Mitch Norton will suit up for the Boomers along with Bullets star Kickert and Cairns captain Cam Gliddon.

The squad spent nine days in camp on the Gold Coast and will open their campaign against Japan on August 8.

Kickert said the Boomers will carry the extra weight of expectation into the tournament.

“We should be the best team in Asia so there will be a target on our backs now,’’ he said.

“It’s on us NBL guys to go out there and win it with the big names unable to play.

“It’s a good opportunity for the NBL guys to keep growing that Australian brand.’’

The Boomers team also contains Olympians David Anderson and Brad Newley after being cut down from an original squad of 20 that trained at the new indoor complex at Carrara.

“It was a really good camp. We got to know each other and learned how to play alongside each other and everyone is really excited about getting the chance to represent their country,’’ Kickert said.

Boomers’ Asia Cup Schedule

August 8: Australia v Japan

August 10: Australia v Hong Kong

August 12: Australia v Chinese Taipei

August 17: Quarter-Finals

August 19: Semi-Finals

August 20: Medal games

Author: GREG DAVIS, The Courier-Mail
Source: http://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/bullets-forward-daniel-kickert-says-nbl-players-must-step-up-for-boomers-in-fiba-asia-cup/news-story/3bdd21dd17c4b9da10811c4a2538256f

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