FOLLOWING their first camp on the Gold Coast in April, the Chemist Warehouse Australian Opals will hold a selection camp for the 2019 FIBA Asia Cup from July 20-28 in Phoenix, Arizona.
It will be the second iteration of the tournament that the Opals have competed in after winning the silver medal in 2017 and the FIBA Asia Cup tips off an important three-year cycle for the women’s game.
The Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Asia will begin in November where Australia will fight for one of the top four spots to advance to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in February 2020.
There, the Opals will take on qualifiers from the rest of the world to determine the final 12 spots for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
13 athletes that participated in the Gold Coast camp will head to Phoenix with the American location allowing the five current WNBA players to re-join the national team.
“This is a very strong squad with a good mixture of experienced and up-and-coming younger players who we are excited to evaluate,” said Australian Opals head coach, Sandy Brondello.
“The camp allows another great opportunity for us to continue to work on our system and chemistry as a team.”
It will be the first time the likes of Liz Cambage, Rebecca Allen, Sami Whitcomb and Alanna Smith get back in the green and gold after they won silver at the 2018 FIBA women’s World Cup, with 11 players from that team named in the squad.
In addition, Darcee Garbin, Zitina Aokuso, Lauren Nicholson, Tahlia Tupaea, Tiana Mangakahia and Alex Wilson will be aiming to make their first Opals team.
All eight WNBL clubs are represented as well including 2019 Champion with the University of Canberra Capitals, Marianna Tolo.
“Anytime you can have your top players available is beneficial for our growth as a team,” said Brondello.
“While the WNBA players will be not be involved for the full camp as it falls around the WNBA All-Star weekend, it will be great to have some contact with them to get familiar with the Opals style of play.
“We are also welcoming back players who missed the Gold Coast camp due to injuries and overseas commitments.”
The 2019 FIBA Asia Cup will be held from September 22-29, with the location yet to be confirmed by FIBA.
“The FIBA Asia Cup is important as every tournament we play is a part of us continuing to develop our game and to gain more experience playing against different styles.”
Australian Opals 2019 FIBA Asia Cup selection camp squad
|Zitina Aokuso||JCU Townsville Fire|
|Rebecca Allen||New York Liberty (WNBA)|
|Abby Bishop||KSC Szekszárd (Hungary)|
|Sara Blicavs||Jayco Rangers|
|Elizabeth Cambage||Las Vegas Aces (WNBA)|
|Katie Ebzery||Perth Lynx|
|Darcee Garbin||JCU Townsville Fire|
|Cayla George||Deakin Melbourne Boomers|
|Tessa Lavey||Bendigo Bank Spirit|
|Tess Madgen||JCU Townsville Fire|
|Ezi Magbegor||Deakin Melbourne Boomers|
|Tiana Mangakahia||Syracuse Orange (USA)|
|Lauren Mansfield||Perth Lynx|
|Leilani Mitchell||WNBL Free Agent|
|Lauren Nicholson||MAC Adelaide Lightning|
|Jenna O’Hea||WNBL Free Agent|
|Steph Talbot||Minnesota Lynx (WNBA)|
|Nicole Seekamp||MAC Adelaide Lightning|
|Alanna Smith||Phoenix Mercury (WNBA)|
|Marianna Tolo||University of Canberra Capitals|
|Tahlia Tupaea||Brydens Sydney Uni Flames|
|Sami Whitcomb||Seattle Storm (WNBA)|
|Alex Wilson||Brydens Sydney Uni Flames|