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Basketball

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Boomers eye elusive World Cup medal

Australian NBA star Joe Ingles reckons the new-look Boomers can finally break the country's basketball medal drought - but first they need to gel.

The Boomers are yet to win a medal at a major tournament, with their closest effort a heartbreaking 89-88 loss to Spain in the bronze-medal playoff at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Australia are determined to break their medal drought at the World Cup, from August 31 in China, and Ingles is confident they have the class to do it.

Although NBA superstar Ben Simmons, Thon Maker, Dante Exum and Ryan Broekhoff are missing, the Boomers' squad is bursting with NBA talent.

Andrew Bogut, Ingles, Patty Mills, Aron Baynes and Matthew Dellavedova form the core of the group, with Jonah Bolden, Jock Landale and Xavier Cooks among the fresh faces.

Ingles said the team's near miss in Rio was still something he and other players thought about.

"Every time you come home, it gets brought up," Ingles said.

"Now we're off to a major tournament where we can try to finish that business.

"It's been a goal of ours since the last Worlds, and we haven't achieved that medal yet. It's the same goal now.

"We think we've got the team that we think can compete and we think we can come home with a medal."

The next two weeks loom as critical for the Boomers as they attempt to gel for the World Cup.

Australia will face off against Canada on Friday and Saturday night in Perth, before taking on the USA on August 22 and 24 in Melbourne.

The Boomers play Canada in their opening World Cup game, meaning both sides won't reveal all of their secrets in the warm-up clashes.

But Ingles said the games were vital in helping to develop combinations within the team.

"Just coming out with Boges and Patty again - a lot of us haven't played (together) since Rio," Ingles said.

"So it's three years now. It's just fun to get out there and play. It's fun to play with NBL guys who I have never played with before.

"We're learning a lot about each other. We get better each day. It's been a good group to be around. We want to gel together more."

--End of article--

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