Three Jayco Rangers superstars have been selected to represent Australia at the upcoming FIBA Asia Cup, with Sara Blicavs, Steph Blicavs & Tessa Lavey all selected in the Australian Opals squad.
All three have been selected after a fantastic showing at last week’s Opals camp in Phoenix, helping to integrate the new coaching staff, players and support staff to the Opals’ system as well as narrowing the squad to a final team of 12.
Fellow Jayco Ranger Carley Mijovic was unlucky not to make the final cut for the Asia Cup, just falling short of selection in the final team. Phoenix Mercury & new Opals coach Sandy Brondello state that dwhile the making the final decision on the team was hard, the team is poised for a deep run in the July tournament.
“It was a difficult decision in naming the final team but we feel they will be able to play against all the contrasting styles of the opponents we will face at the FIBA Asia Cup,” said Brendollo.
“The system is built on a strong defensive unit playing team defence at all times, getting stops and rebounds and running for easy baskets in transition.”
Our three Jayco Rangers will also be joined by Rangers legend Penny Taylor at the FIBA Asia Cup, with Taylor coming on board as an assistant coach with the Opals.
“Penny is the one of the most respected Opals of all time,” said Brondello.“She has delivered an incredible legacy as a player and now, having been working with me at the Mercury as an assistant, she has an intimate knowledge of my system that the players can tap into.”
The Opals will now fly out for India on July 17 before their first game on July 23. Stay tuned for news from FIBA on broadcast/live-streaming details.
The Australian Opals FIBA Women’s Asia Cup Schedule (all times AEST):
July 23: Australia vs. Korea at 3.30pm
July 24: Australia vs. Philippines at 5.45pm
July 25: Australia vs. Japan at 5.45pm
July 27: Quarter-Finals
July 28: Semi-Finals
July 29: Bronze and Gold medal games
The Australian Opals FIBA Women’s Asia Cup Team:
4 Lavey Tessa Swan Hill AUS
5 Bunton Alexandra Lincoln ENG
6 Mansfield Lauren Elizabeth Vale AUS
7 Garrick Madeleine Shepparton AUS
8 Blicavs Stephanie Dandenong AUS
9 Griffin Kelsey Anchorage USA
10 Ebzery Katie Noble Park AUS
11 Hodges Laura Ashford AUS
12 Snell Belinda Mirboo North AUS
13 Bishop Abby Booleroo Centre AUS
14 Tolo Marianna Mackay AUS
15 Blicavs Sara Melbourne AUS