Flames trio named in extended Opals squad
Sydney Flames trio Keely Froling, Shyla Heal and Tiana Mangakahia have been rewarded for their strong play by being named in the Australian Opals extended squad, as they begin preparations for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
The three Hoops Capital athletes are joined by 23 other green and gold hopefuls, who will be looking to build on the bronze medal Sandy Brondello and her side won at last year’s FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Sydney.
“Keely, Tiana and Shyla have worked incredibly hard this season and making the Opals squad is a terrific reward that was very much earned,” said Flames coach Shane Heal.
“They have really carried this young Flames team and all three have got better as the season has gone on.”
Joining the Flames in the 26-person squad are Perth Lynx’s Sami Whitcomb (also New York Liberty), Darcee Garbin, Amy Atwell, Lauren Scherf and Chloe Bibby, Melbourne Boomers’ Kristy Wallace, Tess Madgen and Cayla George, Canberra Capitals’ Maddy Rocci, Shaneice Swain and Jade Melbourne Townsville Fire’s Steph Reid, Lauren Nicholson and Zitina Aokuso, Adelaide Lightning’s Isobel Borlase and Steph Talbot (also Seattle Storm), Southside Flyers’ Sara Blicavs and Nyadiew Puoch, Bendigo Spirit’s Anneli Maley, Spar Ginoa’s Marianna Tolo, New York Liberty’s Rebecca Allen, Indiana Fever’s Alanna Smith and Seattle Storm’s Ezi Magbegor.
“We shouldn’t let ourselves get in a hole that deep, but the positivity and toughness to get the win showed our character.”
After the Sydney Flames’ winning comeback last night, Tiana Mangakahia believes this can reinvigorate their season 🔥
— Sydney Flames (@TheSydneyFlames) January 13, 2023
The squad will descend on Canberra from March 31 to April 5 for a five-day training camp, before a busy schedule leading into the Asia Cup tournament from July 16-23.
The Flames next hit the court on Sunday against Townsville (from 1.30pm AEDT), as part of the Hoops Capital double-header at Qudos Bank Arena – with the Kings battling the Hawks (at 4pm).
Tickets for the hoops extravaganza are still available here.