Flames duo come up clutch as Opals edge Brzail

February 9, 2024 | Sydney Flames news

The Australian Opals, headlined by Flames’ Tess Madgen and Cayla George, overcame an emotion-fuelled Brazil to open their FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament campaign with a win on Friday.

Australia led by as much as 14 points in front of a vocal home crowd in Belem, Brazil then held off the fast-finishing host nation to win an entertaining contest, 60-55.


The Opals must finish top three in their four-nation pool to qualify for this year’s Paris Olympics. With a win under its belt, Australia now turns focus to its next game on Sunday (7am AEDT) against Germany who upset Serbia, 73-66, on the opening day of play.

Ezi Magbegor was the star for Australia at both ends with a game-high 18 points, she hauled in seven rebounds and produced three massive blocks in the dying minutes with the game on the line.

Bec Allen paced the Opals early, with eight of her country’s first 10 points, and finished with 14 points alongside seven rebounds, four assists and one steal.

While Australia led by double digits at the main break, Brazil stayed in the game through their hot shooting, having gone at 50 per cent from the three in the first term.

As the pressure rose, so did the crowd support as the host nation reeled in the lead, levelled the game then went ahead by three points with under five minutes to go before the experienced Cayla George sunk a timely three to regain the advantage for Australia.

In the five-point win, George finished with seven points, two steals, one rebound and one assist, while Madgen added six points, four boards and one dime.