Two late changes have been made to the Opals team for the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup, tipping off on Monday the 27th of September in Amman, Jordan.
Bec Allen and Maddi Rocci have been replaced by U19 Gems Captain Jade Melbourne and recent WNBL Adelaide Lightning addition, Abigail Wehrung.
Allen has forfeited her position in the Opals team due to her commitments to both the WNBA and European leagues, with New York Liberty progressing through to the playoffs. Rocci has been ruled out due to an injury concern.
The changes have provided Melbourne and Wehrung with their chance to make their debut for the National team.
Coming off the recent U19 Hungary World Cup, where Melbourne led the Gems to back-to-back Silver medals, Melbourne will look to carry the momentum and make a strong impression as the youngest player on the Opals team.
After representing Australia internationally as a junior, the Asia Cup will also be the first chance for Wehrung to don the green and gold as an Opal.
Opals Head Coach Paul Gorris is confident the girls will transition smoothly into the Opals set up.
“Jade is an exciting up and coming talent and her All Star 5 selection at the recent FIBA U19 Women’s World Cup proved she is destined for great things in the future and this opportunity gives her a taste of senior women’s international basketball.
“Abbey has always been a very consistent WNBL player and can play both ends of the floor. She is a good on ball defender and can shoot the 3, so her versatility shows at both ends of the court.
“Having coached both of these players it will be an easy transition for them both into the Opals team and I’m looking forward to getting started in Jordan.”
Sami Whitcomb will Captain the Opals through the Asia Cup campaign.