Australia secure Quarter-Final berth after nail-biting win

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A passionate and physical win by the Seven Consulting Opals against a previously undefeated Canada secured a Quarter-Final position in front of an ecstatic home crowd.

After a slow start, Australia’s monumental 19-point run to finish the second quarter shifted the games momentum and brought the crowd and the Seven Consulting Opals alive.

After a seesawing final half, it was Australia who emerged victorious 75-72.

With Rebecca Allen rested after a heavy knock in last night’s game, Ezi Magbegor stepped up to lead the Australian offence with 16 points and five blocks in a player of the match performance. Steph Talbot’s had a near triple-double, 11 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists and was pivotal in Australia’s win, whilst Sami Whitcomb was also on fire from deep with 15 points.

The Canadians were anchored by Nirra Fields with 17 points and six rebounds and strong second half from Bridget Carleton who contributed 16 points

Magbegor said the team focused on playing their style of game.

“We had to play good Opals basketball”, said Magbegor. “I think we’re getting better as each games goes, we know our starts need to get better. It was a grind tonight, we had to play all four quarters and were able to get the win.”

Magbegor also addressed Head Coach Sandy Brondello’s move to start her from the bench.

“It was a move that Sandy (Brondello) had to make as (Marianna) Tolo has been playing so well,” said Magbegor.

“Tolo has been coming off the bench and having an impact straight away, so I think that was the best decision for the team. Obviously roles change, and I think that energy needed to come. Credit to Tolo, she is a beast.”

Brondello spoke on Bec Allen’s injury and missing her from the team tonight.

“She has made improvements today, moving better and we’re hopeful that she plays tomorrow”, said Brondello. “Fingers crossed. With Bec out, we really had to rely on ball movement – every basket was assisted.”

Canada’s Fields commented on the impact of the vocal Australian crowd.

“We were not in the moment and couldn’t hear on the court,” said Fields. “We couldn’t come together and work as a team.”

Canadian Head Coach Victor Lapena discussed how this loss would help his team’s development.

“We were very close; this is good for our team’s future,” said Lapena. “When we have a game like this it becomes a part of our growth. The most important thing was we competed against a tough team; it wasn’t a bad defeat.”


1st quarter 23 14
2nd quarter 33 38
3rd quarter 57 51
Full time 72 75



Player Pts Reb Ast Stl
Ezi Magbegor 16 7 3 1
Sami Whitcomb 15 2 6 4
Steph Talbot 11 9 8 1



Player Pts Reb Ast Stl
Nirra Fields 17 6 3 1
Bridget Carleton 16 2 0 2
Shay Colley 10 1 2 1