Fire stars named to Opals squad

December 1, 2017 | Townsville Fire news

JCU Townsville Fire stars Suzy Batkovic and Cayla George will attend next year’s Australian Opals camp ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

Earlier today, Basketball Australia announced an 18-player squad for the February camp, with Australia looking to claim gold at the two-week tournament which will include preliminary games in Townsville.

With Sandy Brondello taking charge of the Opals, Batkovic returns to international duties after being sensationally overlooked for the Rio Olympics.

The Fire captain claimed her fourth and fifth WNBL MVP’s on either side of the Rio campaign – the most in history – and remains on track to clinch a sixth later this season.

George retains her position in the Opals squad after making her Olympic debut in Rio.

The Opals will stage a second camp ahead of the Commonwealth Games, with Basketball Australia reserving the right to add further players to the squad based on form and injury.

“This squad has been selected based upon performance levels in the various leagues in which the athletes compete as well as at past Opals camps and the recent FIBA Asia Cup in India,” Brondello said.

“All of our Opals coaching staff will continue to monitor and evaluate the contributions the players make to their respective clubs leading up to the Commonwealth Games.

“Beyond that tournament, we are also preparing for the FIBA World Cup which will be held in Spain in September 2018 following our successful qualification at the FIBA Asia Cup earlier this year.”

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The Australian Opals squad is:

Rebecca Allen (Lyon- France)
Suzy Batkovic (JCU Townsville Fire)
Abby Bishop (MAC Adelaide Lightning)
Stephanie Blicavs (Jayco Dandenong Rangers)
Elizabeth Cambage (Deakin Melbourne Boomers)
Katie-Rae Ebzery (Brydens Sydney Uni Flames)
Cayla George (JCU Townsville Fire)
Kelsey Griffin (Bendigo Bank Spirit)
Natalie Hurst (University of Canberra Capitals)
Alice Kunek (Perth Lynx)
Tessa Lavey (Jayco Dandenong Rangers)
Ezi Magbegor (University of Canberra Capitals)
Lauren Mansfield (Energa Torun- Poland)
Leilani Mitchell (Hatay – Turkey)
Jenna O’Hea (Deakin Melbourne Boomers)
Belinda Snell (Brydens Sydney Uni Flames)
Stephanie Talbot (Mondeville – France)
Marianna Tolo (Abdullah Gul – Turkey)