A united Boomers will bounce to top
MITCH McCarron believes a team-wide selfless attitude is what will propel the Australian Boomers towards FIBA World Cup qualification.
With the green and gold's NBA stars, such as Mareeba's Aron Baynes, unavailable, Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis has again selected an "NBL All Star side" of Australians for this phase of qualification.
The Boomers travel to Chinese Taipei this week for their first game before returning to South Australia to face Japan in Adelaide on Monday.
Cameron Gliddon and McCarron both contributed to the Boomers' FIBA Asia Cup crown in the off-season, with the Snakes skipper averaging six points and three rebounds a game, while McCarron added 10 points and four boards an outing.
Two wins this week will go a long way to booking Australia's position in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China.
"Speaking about this Boomers team specifically, each player has a huge role with their respective NBL clubs," McCarron said.
"Your role might be significantly larger than what the national team requires, and it's not always easy to quickly change your style of play.
"You go head-to-head with each other throughout the season, but now you're running over to pick him up off the floor as a teammate.
"I've seen many other national teams struggle with this, the chemistry to fight for one another just isn't there. It's not enough at this level to just bring talent, there has to be a buy-in from everybody."
Former Snake and now star Adelaide 36er Nathan Sobey will also pull on the green and gold. Melbourne United star and Rio Olympian Chris Goulding says it is a new experience to play for the national team during an NBL season but one the Boomers are looking forward to.
"It is something we have not experienced before so it is all going to be new to us all and hopefully we can all play well," Goulding said.
"Our plan is to get two crucial wins. We are going into a hostile environment over there, we have to be ready."
ROAD TO GLORY
The Australian Boomers' path to the FIBA World Cup
Window 1 - November 24, 2017
Chinese Taipei vs. Australia (AWAY)
November 27, 2017
Australia vs. Japan at Adelaide
Window 2 - February 22, 2018
Australia vs. Philippines TBA
February 25, 2018
Australia vs. Chinese Taipei TBA
Window 3 - June 29, 2018 Japan vs. Australia (AWAY)
July 2, 2018: Philippines vs. Australia (AWAY)