Chris Goulding injured as Boomers belt Venezuela 97-41 in Melbourne

The Boomers have dismantled Venezuela 97-41 in a World Cup warm-up match at Rod Laver Arena.

The Boomers have dismantled Venezuela 97-41 in a World Cup warm-up match at Rod Laver Arena. Photo: AAP

Chris Goulding has sent a scare through the Boomers’ camp after hurting his right knee in Australia’s 97-41 dismantling of Venezuela at Rod Laver Arena.

Goulding pulled up sore in a collision early in the fourth quarter of the Monday night rout before calling for a substitute and limping off to receive treatment.

He returned to the bench in the dying minutes with his knee iced but in no obvious discomfort.

Goulding’s injury, on top of the absence of Jock Landale (ankle), are the Boomers’ primary concerns leading into the World Cup in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia, which starts next Friday.

In Landale’s absence, centre Duop Reath, who played under Boomers coach Brian Goorjian with Illawarra’s NBL team in 2021-22, pressed his claims for selection in the final 12-man squad, top scoring with 26 points at 86 per cent.

Reath was the chief beneficiary of the playmaking wizardry of NBA gun Josh Giddey (14 points, eight rebounds, nine assists), who flirted with a triple-double and was described by Boomers legend Andrew Gaze as “Magic Johnson-like”.

Guard Garly Sojo (12 points) was the only player to notch double digits for Venezuela, who were brutalised 27-7 and 21-4 in the middle two quarters.

“We turned the ball over a lot,” Goorjian said.

“The cornerstone for us moving forward is the defensive end of the floor.

“I really believe as we grow, we’re going to be OK offensively.

“Defending and rebounding, we did a good job of that tonight.”

The Giddey-Reath show launched Australia to an early 12-2 lead before the 17th-ranked tourists hit back with a 9-0 burst to close to 12-11.

It was never close again.

Veteran Joe Ingles caught fire from the perimeter and captain Patty Mills completed a miraculous four-point play as the Boomers extended their 27-16 quarter-time lead to 54-23 at half-time.

Venezuela misfired seven first-half airballs before being forced into 10 third-quarter turnovers in the face of the Aussies’ smothering defence.

The Boomers’ ball use became sloppy in the fourth and they were outscored 12-2 during one ugly stretch.

They will want to tidy that up on Wednesday when they take on Brazil, which defeated South Sudan 85-75 in the earlier game.

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