The Australian Opals took a dominant win against China in Canberra’s AIS Arena, 98-63 in front of more than 3,000 fans in a warmup game ahead of the FIBA Asia Cup.
Australia led from the first quarter, rode Bec Allen’s 9-point surge in the second, sustaining a comfortable 44-33 lead. The Opals then established a dominant 72-45 lead by the end of the third quarter, thanks to Steph Talbot’s 11-point explosion in that period.
“Adapting to the group is easy, I’ve played Sandy’s system a fair bit over the past few years so coming back in is natural to me,” Talbot said, via The Canberra Times.
“We have a culture where anytime we come together, it doesn’t take long for us to mesh together.”
Ezi Magbegor carried the game throughout, scoring 8 in the first quarter, and ended with 20 points on 8 of 10 shooting. China’s Shao Ting (4/8 FG) and Han Xu (4/10 FG) led China with 9 points each.
Australia will look towards the Asia Cup with gold as the goal.
“Definitely. We have high expectations for ourselves,” Head coach, Sandy Brondello said. “Everything is important now, we’re leading into the Olympics with all of these qualifications. If we finish No. 1, it gives us a better ranking and a better group for the November qualifier.”
The FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2019, held in Bengaluru, India, will last from 24 to 29 September. The Opals will face the Philippines on Tuesday, 24 September 2019 5:45pm AEST at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium.
Game box score will also be available on FIBA’s website.
Follow the Opals on FIBA’s Women’s Asia Cup website.