The Australian Pearls basketball team clinches gold at the World Championships

The Australian Pearls basketball team clinches gold at the World Championships

The Australian Pearls completed a clean sweep at the 6th INAS-FID World Basketball Championships at the weekend with a powerful exhibition of quality basketball.

Australia defeating the host nation Portugal 105 to 24. Despite being a very physical game the Pearls were dominant on the boards and were able to convert easily shooting at 52 per cent.

All Pearls players took to the floor in the final, and they all got on the score sheet as well. Co-captain Mina Aldobasic recorded a double-double with 20 points and 16 rebounds. Nicole Harris took 11 rebounds. Other top scorers include Eliza Barden (20 points) Natasha Exell (17 points), Kaite Papworth (14 points) and Bernadette Barden (10 points). 

Australia have dominated at these World Championships, consistently demonstrating a high standard of skill and conditioning, a testament to the effort put in by these athletes and their coaches prior to the championships' commencement. The quality of the Australian program has delivered the ultimate reward.

After the game coach Larry Davidson said, "I am extremely proud of the effort the team has put in, from the senior group through to the rookies. Our goals included retaining our world ranking of number one while getting good experience for our development players. We have certainly achieved both," he said.
Despite being ranked number one, this is the first gold medal the Australian women have won since the Madrid Paralympics in 1992. The current Pearls pay homage to the many inspirational Pearls players who have represented Australia over the years.

At the closing ceremony Mina Aldobasic was awarded tournament MVP. Each of the Pearls were presented with individual gold medals and the team received a magnificent championship cup.

The Portuguese Basketball organization are to be commended for putting together an efficient and professional run World Championships.

The next event for the Australian Pearls will be at the Global Games in Italy in September 2011.

The Pearls send many thanks to everyone who has helped achieve this World Championship, including the teams at Basketball Australia and Ausrapid, our families, friends, coaches and supporters.