Sobey takes Boomers brunt after NZ loss

Nathan Sobey says he accepts ownership for Australia's Asian Cup qualifying loss to New Zealand.
Nathan Sobey says he accepts ownership for Australia's Asian Cup qualifying loss to New Zealand.

Nathan Sobey has shouldered the blame for the Boomers' rare loss to New Zealand, challenging himself to play like the leader he wants to be against Hong Kong on Sunday.

The Brisbane guard was captain of the depleted side that lost their Asia Cup qualifier by 10 points to the Tall Blacks on Sobey's home court on Thursday, New Zealand's first win over Australia since 2009.

He made just four of 16 field goals and turned the ball over seven times as Reuben Te Rangi, Rob Loe and Shea Ili torched an Australian side missing not only their overseas players but also those playing in next week's NBL finals.

Sam Froling, Angus Glover, Kyle Adnam, Sunday Dech and Dane Pineau all earned Boomers debuts, while 17-year-old guard Josh Giddey will be the youngest since Ben Simmons to wear the green and gold if he plays as expected against Hong Kong.

"These young guys asking questions, if I want that sort of responsibility I can't be putting those sort of performances together," Sobey said.

"Being a leader, seven turnovers isn't going to get it anywhere and shot selection for myself, trying to get good shots then move then on to great shots

"One hundred per cent I've got to be a lot better than that moving forward."

The Boomers have already qualified for Tokyo's Olympics and only have to finish ahead of Hong Kong and Guam in their drawn-out qualification journey to ensure they are there to defend their Asia Cup title next year.

Australian Associated Press