The Chemist Warehouse Australian Opals have sailed through their first game of the FIBA Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Malaysia last night defeating Chinese Taipei by 33 points.
The Opals began the night with a strong start, Liz Cambage dropping six straight points to get them to a 17-point lead at the end of the first quarter.
They then continued to build on this margin during the next two quarters, creating a 39-point lead at the third break.
Despite Chinese Taipei fighting back in the final term, the Opals were able to stay at the forefront of the game, with the final siren securing their 31-point win.
Looking at the statistics, the Opals were dominant in all categories, including 50 to 25 rebounds and seven to nil steals.
Cayla George was named the top performer of the night with 12 points, nine rebounds and two assists.
Liz Cambage was also strong, collecting 16 points, the highest number of points for a player during the game.
Jenna O’Hea, the Opals captain, said it felt great to be back in the green and gold.
“It was good to get a win first up against Chinese Taipei,” O’Hea said of last night’s game.
“There were some really positive signs, but we’ll work on some different things at training today in prep for India tomorrow and we’re so thankful for all the support back home from everyone.”
The Australian Opals will have a break today before they head back on court to play India tomorrow night at 8pm (AEDT).
Sunday night they play in their third and final game of the tournament against Japan at 9pm (AEDT).
The remaining two games will be broadcast via livestream on Basketball Australia’s Facebook page or on FIBA’s YouTube channel.
You can also keep up to date with all Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament details and statistics via the FIBA’s tournament page here.
CAYLA GEORGE – 12 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists
LIZ CAMBAGE – 16 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist
STEPH TALBOT – 11 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists