Australia surges into World Cup semis for first time




SHANGHAI, China – San Antonio Spurs' Patty Mills was in sparkling form once more for Australia as they reached the FIBA World Cup semifinal for the first time on Wednesday, September 11.

The Boomers, who had never gone beyond the quarterfinals in 11 previous appearances, defeated tournament debutant Czech Republic, 82-70, and will meet Spain on Friday.

This was undefeated Australia's sixth win in a row in China and in doing so, they avoided becoming the latest surprise casualty at this unpredictable World Cup.

Argentina stunned favorites Serbia on Tuesday while reigning two-time champion the United States got dumped out by France on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old guard Mills led the scoring with 24 points. He also had 6 assists and 4 rebounds.

The Australians were heavy favorites in Shanghai against the Czechs, who bravely hung on until midway through the 3rd quarter, when the Boomers cranked up the pressure.

Australia survived the World Cup "Group of Death" that included Canada, Senegal and Lithuania, before beating the Dominican Republic and then fellow semifinalist France.

Veteran Australian Andrew Bogut was again loudly booed throughout by fans in Shanghai upset with a tweet he wrote in July about Chinese swimming star Sun Yang.

He goaded the crowd afterwards with a dance as he came off the court. –