Rio 2016 women's basketball squad cut to 15
29 June 2016
BASKETBALL: The Australian women's basketball team have finalised plans for their fourth and final camp on the Gold Coast from July 5-11, at the culmination of which the team for Rio 2016 will be announced.
Following two overseas tours of Japan and Europe, the side has just concluded a third camp in Canberra.
“It was great to be able to come back from Japan and Europe and work on the areas that we needed to improve on,” said coach Brendan Joyce.
“I was also able to stay back and watch some of the qualifying teams which gave me a good look at our opponents and gave me more ideas on what to work on in order to prepare for August.”
Joyce and the Opals will continue to work on those areas and focus on their opponents at the final camp on the Gold Coast.
“We appreciate the community of the Gold Coast who always get right behind the Opals and we are really looking forward to going back there for our final Camp.
“We are also very thankful to Somerset College for allowing us to use their facilities including the new state of the art High Performance facility which Commonwealth games teams have already booked.”
While the final team for August will be decided at this this camp, the difficult decisions have already begun with Sara Blicavs and Abby Bishop not featured in the Gold Coast camp.
“It is going to be a very difficult decision for us as a coaching staff at the fourth camp,” said Joyce.
“From the final squad of 15, any of those players deserve to go so it’s going to be a very tough choice for us to make.
“As we move through the process, we have had to make tough decisions already and Sara and Abby will still be in contention should an unexpected injury arise.
“I want to personally thank them for their contribution that they have made to the team throughout the selection process.”
One final international tour is scheduled for the Australian side before they reach Brazil, when they fly to the USA from July 28-August 1 after this final camp to play a warm-up tour against Canada, France and the USA.
That clash against the USA will be competed at Madison Square Garden, the first time the Opals will play at the famous venue.
“The final team that is selected will have three very tough games in the USA before we get to Brazil.
“I always have discussions with past coaches like Barry Barnes, Jan Stirling and Brett Brown and based on their experiences as well as my experiences at the 2014 Women’s World Championships and two Olympics at Athens and Beijing, it is always important to have tough games before a tournament and these games will provide tremendous preparation for August.”
The Australian side for Camp 4 on the Gold Coast:
Suzy Batkovic, Natalie Burton, Liz Cambage, Katie Rae Ebzery, Cayla George, Laura Hodges, Rachel Jarry, Tessa Lavey, Tess Madgen, Leilani Mitchell, Stephanie Talbot and Marianna Tolo
Unavailable: Rebecca Allen, Penny Taylor, Erin Phillips