NANJING, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Notching 30 assists throughout the match, the Australians showcased their aggressiveness with input of everyone, overwhelming Dominican Republic 82-76 in the Group L opener at FIBA Basketball World Cup here on Saturday.
Patty Mills of Australia scored a match-leading 19 points with nine assists. Dominican Republic held off their opponents in most of the time with Eloy Vargas tallying 16 points.
Australia was in early attack mode with balanced starting lineup featuring five NBA players led by San Antonio Spurs guard Mills. Victor Liz of Dominican Republic showed his skills with a couple of tough layups to keep them in the game, ending the first quarter 24-19.
The Boomers amassed an incredible 72 assists in their three games in the first round. They continued their credible passing game with 16 assists in the first half, but that is not enough to put their opponents on the ropes.
Dominican Republic battled with strong defense and pushed fast and hard with dunks to keep the Australians a little quiet. With a buzzer beater made by Luis Montero, they only trailed by two points in the end of the first half.
Aron Baynes of Australia was fouled out with some six minutes remaining in the third quarter, becoming the X-factor in the match as the center proved himself as a powerful rim protector.
Mills, however, turned up the heat for his teammates with a deep three-pointer and several passes.
Australia has now moved a step closer to the quarterfinals. They are scheduled to play France on Monday.