THE Australian Boomers have been forced to deny tanking claims after losing their final basketball World Cup preliminary game to Angola on Thursday night.
With big-name players rested and Maryborough star Matthew Dellavedova given less than four minutes, the Aussies threw away a 15-point lead late in the third quarter to go down 83-91.
The defeat left the Boomers in third place in their pool, with the top four progressing to the round of 16.
It also means they will not run into the rampaging Team USA until the semi-finals, prompting suggestions on Twitter they may have lost deliberately to avoid an earlier showdown.
But coach Andrej Lemanis angrily rejected the accusation, saying no one liked losing and that, as Australians, they always competed “the right way”.
Australia is now scheduled to play Turkey at 4am on Monday (AEST).