Boomers' bigs pass Italian test in Tokyo

The Boomers have passed a tricky Italian test with an 86-83 men's basketball win setting them up to top their Tokyo Olympic pool.

In their first Olympic appearance since winning silver in Athens 2004, Italy pushed the Australians to uncomfortable places as they both looked to continue their unbeaten runs.

But Brian Goorjian's team was up to it, crucially out-rebounding Italy 44-30 and only breathing easy when a Joe Ingles three put them seven points clear inside the final three minutes.

Italy did get back within three points, before a crucial floater off the glass from Patty Mills and two free throws from Matisse Thybulle iced the win.

Mills (16 points, six rebounds, five assists) was kept relatively quiet by Italy's organised defence but Australia's bigs filled the void.

Aron Baynes (14 points, seven rebounds), Jock Landale (18 points, seven rebounds) and Nick Kay (15 points, seven rebounds) all chipped in, helping the Boomers win the offensive rebound count 16-6.

Baynes, Landale and Ingles (14 points, four rebounds, five assists) were instrumental in a 12-2 run over three minutes that swung momentum after Italy had jumped ahead by six to begin the second half.

Golden State 20-year-old Nico Mannion (21 points, seven assists) and Spanish-based small forward Simone Fontecchio (22 points) went to work early but were slowed when things tightened up in the final quarter.

The victory follows Australia's impressive first-up defeat of Nigeria, with a final pool game against Germany, who also beat Nigeria, on Saturday.

Australia, chasing a maiden international medal, finished fourth in the last World Cup and Olympics.