Opals in training ahead of Oceania Championship

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Preparations for the 2015 Oceania Championship are well under way with the Jayco Australian Opals in training to prepare for their New Zealand rivals.

With the final team of 12 announced on Sunday morning, coach Brendan Joyce has wasted no time getting his players on the court together.

“It’s always great once the team is picked,” said Joyce. “I think everybody is a little more relaxed. We had a session yesterday for an hour and a half as soon as we got here. I thought it was a pretty good session for a travel day, normally they’re not that great and we had a really good one this morning.”

Training is still focused on working through their own systems but the Opals are beginning to look at the Tall Ferns as game day gets closer.

“We’re pretty familiar with lot of their girls because four or five of them have played in the WNBL, some have played SEABL and from our last Oceania series there’s quite a few of them still there.

“Strategically, different teams run different things but it’s a matter of trying to take away their strengths and attack their weaknesses.”

For 22-year old Sara Blicavs, there is a combination of nerves and excitement as she heads into her first international game for the Opals.

“When we all got to the hotel and saw each other and had a little meeting… we realised the game is on Saturday and it’s all happening,” she said. “Being the young one, I’m just ecstatic to be here.”

For the full interview with BA TV, see the video below: