Martin relishing return to Boomers team

Rhys Martin is enjoying being back in the Boomers environment for the China series. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

Rhys Martin is enjoying being back in the Boomers environment for the China series. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

BASKETBALL 

Three years after his last appearance in Australian colours, Rhys Martin is back in the Boomers team for a four-match series against China.

Martin was named in an initial 16-man squad earlier this month and earned his spot in coach Andrej Lemanis's final 12-man team with a strong performance at last week's training camp.

Australia host the Chinese national team on Thursday night and Saturday night at Perth's Challenge Stadium. The series shifts to China for the final two games next week.

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Martin played two games for Australia under former coach Brett Brown in 2011, both of which were against China.

"It's a big honour to be wearing the green and gold again," the Wollongong Hawks guard said.

"It's always great to play for your country. Whether it's a friendly or a World Championships, you still respect it and cherish it. It's pretty special."

All four games will be televised on ABC2.

Martin is looking forward to playing alongside some of his NBL rivals, including Ben Madgen, Mark Worthington and Clint Steindl.

"I'm pumped. It's going to be a lot of fun," the 27-year-old said.

"We played China the last time I got to play for Australia and we swept them. It'd be great to do that again, and this time in China."

Lemanis believes the new-look team has bonded strongly.

"The sense of pride in playing for Australia is obvious within the group," he said.

"The players have represented themselves with class. We really couldn't ask any more from them."

Martin knows his days with the Boomers might be numbered when NBA stars Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova are available for selection.

"I spoke to 'Dre and he's a pretty open and honest guy, and I asked him all the things to do and what to look out for, and he gave me things to improve on and told me what I do well. If I can focus on those and impress him and get a call back, that's great. If not it's back to business as usual."

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