Rio Olympics 2016: The world reacts to stunning Boomers capitulation

Australia's Andrew Bogut walks off the court after a semifinal defeat against Serbia. Photo / AP
Australia's Andrew Bogut walks off the court after a semifinal defeat against Serbia. Photo / AP

There could be no sugar-coating this one. Australia's performance in an 87-61 defeat against Serbia with a guaranteed medal on the line was as bad as it gets - and the Boomers knew it.

"It was pathetic," small forward Joe Ingles said. "Nothing Australian about it."

"They kicked our ass from start to finish," centre Andrew Bogut added.

They couldn't have said it better, although the numbers told a stark tale too. A 14-point first half. Only four three pointers from 31 attempts. A 43-30 beating on the boards. This was an old-fashioned pasting and everyone who saw knew it.

THE PLAYERS

Australia was on the back foot from the opening possession as a pumped up Serbian team looked to establish a physical edge. The Europeans also made a series of tough shots in the opening minutes before you knew it Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis was calling his first time-out, down 10-0.

"They came out and played real aggressive and pushed us out of our stuff," veteran forward David Andersen said. "We just couldn't find a rhythm ... it's one of those things in basketball, sometimes you just don't get the shots you want."

Australia tried to gain a foothold but with a widening deficit settled for too many long-range attempts instead of sticking to the formula which led them to a 4-1 record in the pool stage and a comfortable quarterfinal win against Lithuania.

"We've got counters for things, we just didn't execute well enough and play as a team ... we're all very disappointed, it's not how we pictured it going," point guard Matthew Dellavedova added.

"Didn't execute defensively at the start and they went on a 10-0 run and we missed some shots early we've made for the whole tournament," Ingles added. "It was a disaster on both ends, really."

THE COACH

Australian coach Andrej Lemanis said Serbia's energy put his team on the back foot.

"For whatever reason, they were able to dictate terms in that first quarter," he said.

"We weren't able to get anything going offensively, obviously, only having five points in the first quarter then again nine in the second. We didn't shoot it well, but most of that I think was because of the defensive intensity from the Serbian team, and we didn't do a good job of adjusting to that early in the game.

"So, semifinal of the Olympic Games - it's hard to swallow. This is really the first time we've been challenged in this tournament where things haven't gone our way, so a good test of character for us now to ensure that we bounce back and come back and play the way we want to play and represent ourselves in the bronze medal game."

THE OPPOSITION

Serbia's players knew they'd lost the physical battle in a 95-80 defeat to Australia in the tournament and were determined not to let it happen again.

"We let them beat us physically in the first game," power forward Nikola Kalinic said. "But we are smart guys, we watch the video and we are not going to let anybody beat us like that physically two times in one championship. We went out there motivated and played physical basketball and got the result."

"We stayed together," added centre Miroslav Raduljica. "We stayed together all the time, and we played pretty damn good defence at the beginning and throughout the whole game. It looked easy. It wasn't easy, but we made it look easy. This is how we play and this is us."

Star Serbian guard Milos Teodosic said his team was "incredibly good".

"To leave a team like Australia with 14 points in the first half is something amazing, almost impossible, but we did it," he said.

"This is a really big thing for us," added Nicola Jokic. "Look at our country and look at Australia. There's a big difference in population and size of the country."

THE LEGEND

Australian basketball legend Andrew Gaze gave full credit to the Serbian team, which never allowed the Boomers to close within 18 points in the second half. "This has been a masterclass," he told Channel 7. "They've done this to a high quality team that most people considered to be - based on their form throughout the tournament - the next best behind the United States and they've completely and utterly annihilated the Australian team.

"There's no other way to describe it. It's a shame. Australia is a lot better than this. This is sport. You have these days some times. The ball doesn't drop and things don't work out and you're up against an opponent who is ruthless, methodical and extremely talented."

THE COMEDIANS

Sometimes in moments like these, all you can do is laugh. Plenty of people on Twitter attempted to provide some comic relief during and after the game.






THE FINAL WORD

Ingles not only provided the most quotable reaction to the Serbian disaster, he also gave the best line when asked about how hard it would be to regroup for the bronze medal game against Spain in two days. "We're Australian, we're not going to back down," he said.

Let's get behind them again.

- news.com.au

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