Lightning duo named in Opals squad set for China
MAC Adelaide Lightning’s Nicole Seekamp and Stephanie Blicavs have been selected to play in the Australian Opals team that will head to China for a four-nation tournament in July.
The pair will join six other members of the Opals side, who won gold at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
With several Opals currently competing in the WNBA, this tournament will provide members of the squad a chance to compete against international competition and impress the coaching staff before the World Cup team is selected in late August.
Australia (ranked fourth in the world) will take on Serbia (ranked eighth) in a re-match of the Rio Olympics Quarter-Final which saw the Opals eliminated from competition as well as China (ranked tenth) and Argentina (15th) in a six-game series.
“These games provide us with the opportunity to play three different styles which will be invaluable for our preparation,” said Opals head coach Sandy Brondello.
“Every game we have from now until the World Cup is extremely important as it allows us to continue to work on our chemistry, style of play and culture.
“While our WNBA players will be absent, it is a chance for other players in our squad to show their potential and push for selection for the World Cup team.”
The Opals will take on China, Serbia and Argentina in three games over three days before a rest day separates three re-matches over the last three days of the tournament.
“Along with getting a good look at different personnel for the Opals, we will be able to play against different styles, especially in Argentina and China who play very differently to Australia,” said Chambers.
Following this tournament, the Opals will return to Australia where a camp will be held at the Centre of Excellence in August before a team is selected to compete in the FIBA Women’s World Cup to be held in Tenerife, Spain from September 22-30.
The Opals will be aiming to repeat their gold-medal winning performance from 2006 while they also claimed the bronze medal in 1998, 2002 and at the most recent World Cup in 2014.
The Australian Opals Team for the Four-Nation Tournament in China:
|Stephanie Blicavs||MAC Adelaide Lightning (WNBL) / Kilsyth Cobras (SEABL)|
|Katie-Rae Ebzery||Free Agent|
|Darcee Garbin||JCU Townsville Fire (WNBL) / Townsville Flames (QBL)|
|Kelsey Griffin||University of Canberra Capitals (WNBL)|
|Alice Kunek||Eltham Wildcats (Big V)|
|Tessa Lavey||Jayco Dandenong Rangers (WNBL) / Dandenong Rangers (SEABL)|
|Tess Madgen||JCU Townsville Fire (WNBL) / Dandenong Rangers (SEABL)|
|Ezi Magbegor||Deakin Melbourne Boomers (WNBL) / Diamond Valley Eagles (SEABL)|
|Lauren Mansfield||Perth Lynx (WNBL) / Launceston Tornadoes (SEABL)|
|Jenna O’Hea||Deakin Melbourne Boomers (WNBL)|
|Nicole Seekamp||MAC Adelaide Lightning (WNBL) / South West Metro Pirates (QBL)|
|Tahlia Tupaea||Brydens Sydney Uni Flames (WNBL) / Sydney Uni Sparks (SEABL)|
|Wade Hobbs||Performance Analyst|
|Trish Fallon||Team Leader|