Opals ready to turn to gold

Friday June 22, 2012 by  

With three consecutive Olympic silver medals to their name, the Opals know that a fourth straight is not an option – they want gold.

The Opals have fallen at the final hurdle at each of the past three Olympic appearances to arch-rival USA but under the guidance of one of Australia’s most experienced basketballers in Lauren Jackson, the Opals will be looking to head on a golden journey in London.

Drawn alongside the likes of basketball superpowers Russia and Brazil and home team Great Britain, the Opals know they have a tough road ahead if they are to put themselves in the picture of a fourth straight gold medal playoff. Read more

Opals wrap up Euro tour with Russia win

Monday June 18, 2012 by  

The Australian Opals have finished off their European tour on a high note, narrowly beating Russia overnight by two points in Varese, Italy, 74-72, to end the trip with three wins and two losses.

For the Opals, Jenna O’Hea stepped up and finished with 14 points and five rebounds, while Belinda Snell added 11 points in the win.

For the Russians, Evgeniia Belyakova top-scored with 13 points, while Liudmila Sapova added nine points. Read more

Opals go down to Russia in physical affair

Sunday June 17, 2012 by  

The Australian Opals have gone down to basketball powerhouse Russia overnight, losing in a tight and hard-fought match-up 60-51.

In a game that saw the Aussies rest Jackson but play the remaining 14 players vying for spots in the final 12 for London, and with the Russians playing a massive 18 players, both coaches clearly were keen to give all players a taste of what hard-fought international basketball at the highest level was all about.

It was evident that this was going to be an extremely physical game from the outset, with both sides going point-for-point in the first quarter with Russia taking a slender 18-17 lead into quarter time. Read more

Opals notch big win over Czech Republic

Monday June 11, 2012 by  

The Australian Opals have exercised the demons of 2010 and defeated the Czech Republic, the team that eliminated them from the last FIBA World Championship, on the same court as that fateful quarter-final game, running away with the 67-48 win.

Lauren Jackson top-scored for the Aussies, dropping 14 points and reeling in seven rebounds for the game, while Suzy Batkovic was also integral to the win, finishing with 12 points and seven boards.

The Opals got off to an impressive start, brimming with energy and bringing a physical brand of basketball from the opening tip. Defense was a key for the team with great pressure on the perimeter. The Czechs managed to stay in touch, and after a couple of costly turnovers from the Aussies snuck in front going into quarter time, 15-14. Read more

Opals succumb to Hungary

Sunday June 10, 2012 by  

The Australian Opals have gone down to Hungary in their second game of their European tour overnight, losing 85-76 in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.

Opals centre Liz Cambage was dominant for the Aussies, top-scoring for the game with 25 points in just 21 minutes on the floor. She shot 11-13 from the field and reeled in five rebounds. Lauren Jackson and Erin Phillips were the next best scorers with seven points each for the game.

For Hungary, Alexandria Quigley finished with 23 points while Katalin Honti added 22 points in an impressive shooting display. Read more

Opals secure a tough win over Turkey

Saturday June 9, 2012 by  

The Australian Opals have tipped off their European tour, with a solid but hard-fought 57-49 win over Turkey in Karlovy Cary in the Czech Republic this morning (AEST).

Liz Cambage top scored for the Opals, finishing with 16 points and seven rebounds, while Abby Bishop added 12 points and six rebounds, with Lauren Jackson finishing wth 10 points.

For the Turkish side, Bahar Caglar top-scored with eight points. Read more

Farewell series give Opals valuable insight

Saturday May 5, 2012 by  

Australian Opals head coach Carrie Graf says that her team’s three-game Farewell Series basketball tournament against South American powerhouse Brazil in June has taken on a whole new importance following Tuesday morning’s draw for London 2012.

The draw, which was conducted in Rio by the world governing body of basketball FIBA, saw the Opals pooled along with Brazil in Group B for London, meaning the two sides will get an early look at each other in Victoria in June.

Graf says that the Farewell Series, which tips off with a big double-header clash at Melbourne’s Hisense Arena with the Australian Boomers on Sunday June 24, will be the perfect preparation for the team before they depart for London. Read more

Group B for Boomers and Opals in London

Tuesday May 1, 2012 by  

The official pools for the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments for London 2012 were drawn overnight in Rio De Janeiro by international governing body for basketball, FIBA, with both the Boomers and the Opals pooling in Group B.

The Opals will face Brazil, host nation Great Britain, joint world number two Russia and Qualifiers Three and Five in the first round of the tournament.

Meanwhile the Australian Boomers have pooled with the world number two Spain, along with Brazil, host nation Great Britain, China and Qualifier Three. Read more

Basketball Australia CEO resigns

Friday April 13, 2012 by  

The Board of Basketball Australia today announced that Larry Sengstock had resigned from his position as Chief Executive Officer.

Chairman of the Board, Kristina Keneally, expressed her appreciation for Mr. Sengstock’s contribution to Basketball Australia.

“Larry took on the CEO’s job in 2009; just months after NBL clubs and State and Territory Associations passed a unanimous vote for the unification of basketball at all levels under the governance of Basketball Australia. He has worked hard to make that unification a reality – drawing together the constituent members of BA and creating a single voice for the sport,” Ms. Keneally said. Read more

Knee injury ends London dream for Opals star

Wednesday April 11, 2012 by  

Australian Opals star Penny Taylor will undergo surgery to repair a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament sustained during the finals of the Women’s Euroleague Championships in Istanbul and as a result will miss the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Taylor, a multiple WNBA All Star and two-time WNBA Champion, injured the knee while playing for European powerhouse Fenerbache against Turkish rivals Galatasaray last week.

The WNBA superstar has enjoyed a career best season and was considered by many to be European Basketball’s MVP this year. Read more