Martin on a mission to be fit for camp

Shayne Hope, The West Australian Updated July 30, 2011, 10:28 am
Martin on a mission to be fit for camp

Damian Martin © Enlarge photo

Perth Wildcats guard Damian Martin will have scans on his lower back in a bid to declare himself fit for a Boomers camp in nine days.

Martin was left out of an experimental national squad that will fly to China tomorrow for the four-day Stankovic Cup tournament, which begins with a game against powerhouse Russia in Haining on Monday.

The championship-winning Wildcats guard sat on the sidelines for most of this week's Boomers camp on the Gold Coast and will return to Perth for scans on a suspected sprain of a lower-back joint.

But he was confident he will be fit to take part in the next camp from August 8-12 and train well enough to convince coach Brett Brown to pick him for the Olympic Test Event in London, beginning on August 16.

"I'll spend next week trying to get my back ready and hopefully I can go to the next camp in better shape and train more consistently," Martin said.

The Olympic Test Event will be crucial for fringe players' chances of being selected in the three-game Olympic qualifying series against Oceania rivals New Zealand in September.

In China next week, coach Brett Brown will be looking for players to add depth to the Boomers roster.

His experimental Stankovic Cup squad includes inexperienced back-court duo Hugh Greenwood (AIS) and Matthew Dellavedova (St Mary's College), who will provide support for starting point-guard Adam Gibson (Gold Coast).

Wildcats forward Jesse Wagstaff continued his meteoric rise into the Boomers set-up with inclusion in the Stankovic Cup squad after making his international debut against China in the YouYi Games series last month.

Several international games loom before the London Olympics, but the grounded Wagstaff refuses to get ahead of himself.

"The Stankovic Cup is a pretty good competition and I'm really excited about it," Wagstaff said.

"There are some great guys in the squad and some younger guys that have just come back from the under-19 world championships as well.

"It's definitely an opportunity for the coaches to evaluate where guys are at (in their development) and where the group is at, so it should be a very interesting competition.

"But I'm just going to China and taking it one camp at a time. I'm not looking too far ahead."

Former Wildcats Luke Schenscher, Peter Crawford and Stephen Weigh were named in the 12-man squad alongside NBL veterans Mark Worthington and Cameron Tragardh.

Despite the experimental nature of the squad, the Boomers will be heading to China full of confidence and aiming to bring home a medal.

"It's a good mix of young guys and veterans and we're definitely going there to have a crack," Wagstaff said.

The Boomers' opening game against Russia is followed by pool matches against Angola and China before their final ranking game on Thursday.

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