The Chemist Warehouse Australian Opals completed the 4 Nations Tournament in China, having won five out of six games.
Written by Liam Ellison.
The Opals played each of the teams twice throughout the tournament. The Australian’s faced the 15th ranked Argentinians, the 8th ranked Serbians and the 10th ranked Chinese.
Opals coach Sandy Brondello was unable to coach due to her WNBA commitments. Most notably, coaching the WNBA all-star game. Cheryl Chambers (Sydney Uni Glames) and Paul Goriss (UC Capitals) coached the team in her absence.
Darcee Garbin (Townsville Fire) and Tahlia Tupaea (Sydney Uni Flames) debuted for the Chemist Warehouse Australian Opals during the tournament. Notably Tess Madgen completed her comeback to the team after recovering from an ACL injury.
With many players away on WNBA duty, the tournament provided an opportunity for a number of younger players to stake their claim for the upcoming World Championships.
The Opals had a stacked schedule, playing six games in eight days. Jenna O’Hea and Ezi Magbegor were stand outs throughout the tournament.
First up the Opals faced Argentina in a game that the Australian’s ran out 78-62 victors.
The second game of the tournament had added meaning for the Opals as it was the first time the team had faced Serbia since being eliminated by them in the Quarter finals at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The Australian’s enjoyed a convincing 66-42 victory in what was a satisfying win for the Opals.
The sole loss for the Opals came in their final game against China where the hosts ran out 70-49 winners after the Opals suffered a couple of injuries to Kelsey Griffin and Jenna O’Hea.
The Opals will now return to Australia. The next step in selecting the squad will be a camp held at the Centre of Excellence in August before a team is selected to compete at FIBA Women’s World Cup in Tenerife, Spain from September 22-30.
Game 1: W, 78-62 vs Argentina
Game 2: W, 66-42 vs Serbia
Game 3: W, 68-58 vs China
Game 4: W, 50-38 vs Argentina
Game 5: W, 65-52 vs Serbia
Game 6: L, 49-70 vs China