AUSTRALIAN Boomers guard Jason Cadee believes the team’s depth will be its greatest advantage during the second round of FIBA World Cup qualifiers.
The Boomers will face Qatar this Friday, before returning home to play Kazakhstan at Bendigo Stadium next Monday night at 7pm.
If Australia finishes in the top three of their group after the next phase of six qualifying matches, ending against Kazakhstan and Iran in February, they will qualify for next August’s World Cup in China.
That appears likely with the Boomers leading their Group F, ahead of Iran, also on 11 points, Philippines (10), Kazakhstan (9), Japan (8) and Qatar (8).
But speaking to Bendigo Advertiser ahead of the Boomers’ departure for Qatar, Cadee said their partly fresh-look squad (due to NBA commitments and suspensions) was taking nothing for granted.
“We were pretty disappointed to drop the one game (during phase one against Japan) to be honest, we didn’t play as we had over the past year once we moved to Asia,” he said.
“But I thought we rebounded well in the next game (against Philippines), albeit it ended in unfortunate circumstances, but we thought we played really well.
“We’ll be looking to get this round of qualifiers off to another good start – we’ve got a similar group with a few new faces and I can’t wait to get around the group.
“We have a great connection and have a lot of fun playing.”
The squad for Qatar and Kazakhstan will feature one debutante, Adelaide 36ers forward Daniel Johnson and Cadee could not be happier.
“I’ve been friends with Daniel for a long time, since I played in Adelaide, five or six years ago now,” he said.
“I have thought he has always been a worthy person to have a crack in the green and gold and I am very excited to see how he goes.
“I think he will fit Andrej (Lemanis’) system very well; he’s a very talented player.
“That said, everyone who is in that squad deserves to be there and I’m sure it will be a good squad.
“There’s always been a good vibe around this squad, ever since we came together about June last year. We knew what we had to do and where we wanted to get.
“Everyone who has been in and out has fitted in well.”
I have thought (Daniel Johnson) has always been a worthy person to have a crack in the green and gold and I am very excited to see how he goes.Jason Cadee
Cadee has plenty more fresh challenges to look forward to once back on Australian soil, following his signing with his newest NBL club Brisbane Bullets.
The 27-year-old sharpshooter has joined the Bullets on a three deal, which will see him remain in Brisbane until the end of the 20120-21 season.
Cadee, a nine-year NBL veteran, started his career with Gold Coast Blaze in 2010, before joining Adelaide (2012-14) and later Sydney Kings (2014-18).
His appearance for the Boomers will be his first of two in Bendigo in the space of a week.
He will rejoin the Bullets for their NBL Blitz pre-season commitments on September 20.
Cadee said his transition to Brisbane had been helped considerably by his association with the Boomers and coach Lemanis.
“It almost feels like I have been here forever,” he said.
“As far as the (2018-19) NBL season goes, I know we have a very good playing group and an excellent coaching staff, so I would like to think we’re right about the mark.
“I think it Sydney’s or (Melbourne) United’s to lose at this point, but I think we have put ourselves in a position to be right behind them.”