Australia secures Semi-Finals spot over Belgium

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The Seven Consulting Australian Opals continued their World Cup winning streak against Belgium, taking a 17-point win to advance to the Semi-Finals.

The Australian hosts have secured a convincing 86-69 win over Belgium to advance to tomorrow’s Semi-Final against China.

Cayla George came in hot off the bench for the Australians, contributing 19 points and nine rebounds, while Marianna Tolo led the way from the inside with 13 points and six rebounds. Julie Allemand finished strong for Belgium with 15 points and seven assists.

The Seven Consulting Opals last faced Belgium at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, where they succumbed a 15-point loss to the Europeans.

Tonight, the Australians were a force to be reckoned with – hungry for redemption and determined to continue their World Cup campaign on home soil.

The Seven Consulting Opals found their initial lead through points in the paint, punishing the undersized Belgians without their star centre Emma Meesseman. As the game progressed, the Opals showcased the depth of the team, as 45 bench points helped draw out the lead.

Attempting to stay in contention, Kyara Linksens continued to go to work in the paint for Belgium, while sharp-shooting duo Julie Vanloo and Allemand had no hesitation in shooting from three.

The determined Australian outfit successfully pulled away from the Belgians, taking the win and securing their spot in the Semi-Final in the process.

Seven Consulting Opals veteran and top-performer of the evening George, was thrilled with the results from the game.

“That was a really great win for us, it’s been a great lead up to this tournament, and we’re really excited to be in the position that we’re in,” said George.

“We’ve got a really tightknit group, and we’re looking forward to tomorrow night’s game. It will be a physical one.”

Head Coach Sandy Brondello says the Opals can take a lot of confidence into tomorrow night’s Semi-Final matchup.

“I think we’re building really good momentum with each game,” said Brondello.

“You see the chemistry that we’ve got. You know, we still have some moments here, but other people step up.

“Cayla was massive for us tonight to help us get that win, but we get contributions from so many different people, and I thought Lauren had a really solid night against the bigs.”

“I think it will come down to who executes the scout to the best of their ability and make some shots in those big moments. I’m just excited to have another opportunity to play in a Semi-Final game, I know it’s going to be a great one because the crowd is going to be pretty full and probably pretty even.”

Belgian Head Coach Valery Demory suggested the loss came down his team’s lack of experience.

“I’m quite disappointed with the first half I don’t really know why, if it’s the absence of Emma or something else,” said Demory.

“But we didn’t put forward the intensity necessary to win the Quarter-Finals.”

Belgium’s Becky Massey commended Australia’s tough play and experienced roster.

“I think Australia is tough,” said Massey.

“Inside they’re tall, they use their muscles and stuff very well, they can also shoot from the three-point line – so you have to help but you can’t help too much so I think they did a very good job. It’s very nice for me as a young player to play against them because it’s not every day that you get the chance to play against those experienced players, Jackson in particular.”


1st quarter 26 16
2nd quarter 52 37
3rd quarter 72 48
Full time 86 69



Player Pts Reb Ast Stl
Cayla GEORGE 19 9 2 1
Marianna TOLO 13 6 2 0
Sara BLICAVS 12 9 1 0



Player Pts Reb Ast Stl
Julie ALLEMAND 15 2 7 1
Kyara LINKSENS 13 5 1 2
Hind BEN ABDELKADER 13 1 2 0