Cambage fights for return to Opals, without success
Opal star Liz Cambage's exclusion from the Opals' games against Japan and subsequent FIBA Oceania games was attributed to her choice of attendance at the recent Splendour in the Grass music festival over the training camp.
Cambage spoke with the Herald Sun earlier today, and stated her desire to return to the Opals and represent the country next month.
“I am devastated as anyone who knows me knows how much I love representing my country.
But I am a person that does not pull out of things, whether it a professional commitment, a personal commitment or as a basketballer for my country.
I want nothing more than to return to the court in my home town of Melbourne in August which is why I am once again asking Basketball Australia to let me attend this camp.”
Cambage had apparently committed to the Byron Bay music festival as a "paid host for a band", only because dates for the Opals training camp and the Japan games were uncertain earlier.
The center is reportedly returning to Melbourne today. The training camp was held over last weekend, and the Opals play Japan this week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Basketball Australia however, has firmly stated the need for a training session before her health and fitness levels were ascertained. Opals coach Brendan Joyce was quoted by the Herald Sun as being in agreement with the safety measures, and emphasized the need for a team-first attitude.
“At the end of the day we tried to compromise, but you can only compromise so far otherwise we would be jeopardising her own health by not putting her through a training session,” Joyce said.
“And we would be jeopardising the team by someone deciding they want to come in when they want to come in.
“The team comes first and we are player-driven. The team is disappointed and everyone is, but everyone understands and supports the decision that was made by the coaching staff and Basketball Australia.”
Given Basketball Australia's stern stance on attending training sessions before the games, it does not seem likely that Cambage will return as an Opal this year.