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Alex Toohey, Keli Leaupepe and Tyler Robertson shine for Boomers friendly in Nippon Life Cup 2024

24 Jun
2 mins read
Alex Toohey, Keli Leaupepe and Tyler Robertson have gained tremendous experience suiting up for the Boomers in the Nippon Life Cup 2024 against Japan.

The Australian Boomers led by coach Dean Vickerman, have closed the Nippon Life Cup out in two games, taking the first but drawing the second.

Alex Toohey and Keli Leaupepe gained invaluable experience playing at the representative level, with Toohey playing a crucial role in a thrilling game-two finish. 

The Australia Select team ripped a 90 - 89 win in Game One of the Nippon Life Cup from Japan’s hands in Sapporo – led from the front with a Sam Froling double-double.  

A crucial bucket from veteran Mitch Norton put Australia up by three in the last moments and the game was put in Reyne Smith’s hands at the free-throw line after a foul left Elijah Pepper with a cut to the head.

Smith hit the free throw in the clutch – and it’s crucial that he did, with Japan landing a long-range three-pointer at the death.

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Game Two of the Nippon Life Cup 2024 of Australia vs Japan had an equally intense finish as the opener, with Leaupepe solid in his first start as Boomer. 

Alex Toohey (22 PTS, 4 STL) was instrumental in Australia gaining a buffer on the home stretch, but Japan wouldn’t stay down – hitting a series of shots to tie the scores at 95 - 95. 

A wild sequence of events occurred in the final moments.

It started with an in-and-out shot from the Aussies to go ahead – the returning drive from Japan ended with a clutch steal from guard Mitch McCarron - and in the dying seconds, Australia worked the ball to Sam Froling at the rim and the big man was fouled with 0.4 to play.

Froling had two opportunities from the line – agonisingly, both rolled in and out leaving the game at a tie under exhibition rules.

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