76ers’ Bolden pulls out of Australia World Cup campaign

SYDNEY (AFP) – Australia have suffered a setback after Jonah Bolden joined Philadelphia 76ers’ teammate Ben Simmons as a no-show for the upcoming basketball World Cup in China.

The power forward, who starred for the Boomers in their 81-73 win over Canada in an exhibition game on Friday, with 12 points and five rebounds off the bench, cited “personal reasons”.

Australia coach Andrej Lemanis said he supported the decision.

“My first thought is always with the player in these situations – having to withdraw from the national team is tough for anyone,” he said in a statement.

“From a team perspective, the timing is sub-optimal, but again, we are very fortunate to have the depth of talent we have in this country available to take up this opportunity.”

A replacement will be named soon, likely ahead of the Boomers’ two pre-World Cup clashes against a depleted United States in Melbourne this week.