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Australia's World Cup run came to a bitter end on Sunday morning after falling to France, 67-59, in the bronze medal game in Beijing just days after beating Team France in the quarterfinals. The loss ended the Aussies' chance at winning their first-ever medal in World Cup play.
However, not all is lost for Matthew Dellavedova and Team Australia who had an amazing run up until the semifinals, winning six-straight games before falling to the eventual World Cup champions Spain in double-overtime on Friday. Surely, Australia will take this experience and learn from it as they move forward with a brand-new identity on the basketball world stage.
For a more in-depth recap on Australia vs. France, read on below and be sure to check out some of the best photos from the 2019 World Cup at Cavs.com.
Australia headed into Friday's semifinals on a tear, winning six-straight games through group play and the quarterfinals. It was an impressive run for a country that has been turning out NBA-caliber talent over the past few years, including Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova. That run ended, however, with two-straight losses to Spain (double-overtime) and to France in the final two games of the World Cup. While this wasn't the result they were looking for, the Boomers proved to the world that they're on the map and don't plan on slowing down going forward.
On Sunday, it was a hard-fought battle for both the Aussies and the French, but the latter bounced-back to win the bronze early on Sunday in Beijing after falling to the Boomers on Wednesday in the quarterfinals. The Boomers were within two points late in the fourth quarter, but a last-minute run by France put Australia in the rear-view mirror as they clinched third-place in the 2019 World Cup.
Australia was led in the scoring department by Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles, who tallied 17 points and five rebounds in his country's defeat. San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills, who had been excellent throughout the tournament, canned 15 points with a pair of threes. Delly had another rock-solid performance with five assists, four boards and four points.
For France, Nando De Colo of the Turkish Basketball Super League led both squads with 19 points while Orlando Magic swingman Evan Fournier finished with 16 points, five dimes and five boards. Sunday's victory gave France its second bronze medal in international competition.
In Sunday's gold medal game, Spain took home their second FIBA gold medal with a 95-75 win over Argentina. Spain won their last gold medal in 2006 after topping Greece in Japan.