Opals earn passing grade in practice test before Thursday's French exam
All twelve players saw playing time, as coach Sandy Brondello made use of Friday's World Cup test event to examine potential rotations.
The atmosphere at a World Cup test event is intriguing, to say the least.
Organisers are still putting the final touches on things in preparation for the tournament proper, whilst at the same time attempting to accommodate the needs of those in attendance for a pair of games that everyone present will still be taking very seriously. Whilst there have been months to prepare, there are plenty of last minute things for those in charge to figure out, as the days count down to the tournament.
In the same vein, the test event games serve as a means by which the coaches and teams can put the final touches on their tactics and strategies for the World Cup. There is one massive difference though: the organising committee don’t have an opposition team that will be looking to unpick those plans and put a massive L against your name next week.
On Friday night against France, any ideas of keeping a few aces up their sleeve fell by the wayside quickly, for an Opals team that found themselves in an early 10-4 hole. Despite eventually running out 92-88 winners in a game that came down to the last couple of minutes, it was hardly the opening to the test event that coach Sandy Brondello was looking for, particularly against the same team they will face in their World Cup opener next week.
“Look, I think you say, can we hold it out or not? We didn't start off really well; I think we were holding too much out. So, I just said, just go for it,” Brondello said after Friday night’s game.
“I mean, you play basketball, everyone's going to know what everyone else runs. It's more about just executing on the day and putting the ball in the hole.
“You have knowledge [of how the opposition play]. So now it just comes who comes ready to play in my opinion.”
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