• Home
  • News
  • Opals' bigs make right impression

Opals' bigs make right impression

12 September 2011

For the Opals, it was another win built on living large.

Australia's size advantage proved the key in securing their Olympic Games women's basketball qualification and the Oceania series clean sweep sealed against New Zealand in Sydney on Sunday.

Yet again it was Australia's tall players - Abby Bishop and Suzy Batkovic - who shone in the 25-point win to round off a 3-0 series victory.

Bishop turned in an exceptional performance in the Opals' 82-57 win at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, pouring in 21 points and eight rebounds to add to solid performances in games one and two.

Batkovic also imposed herself for a third successive match as the Tall Ferns were unable to combat her size, scoring 13 points and collecting seven boards.

For Opals coach Carrie Graf, 30-year-old Batkovic's return to top form after 12 months battling injuries was a welcome sign moving towards next year's Games in London.

"To see Suzy Batkovic back in some international form - she wasn't part of our world championship side in 2010 - so that's been a really good part of this series," Graf said.

"It's been about our emerging talent and we got an opportunity to look at those players with seven or eight players that aren't here.

"It's probably not their time now, but they showed the ability to play for the Opals in 2016 and beyond."

Graf was also taken with Bishop's efforts, as well as small forward Hanna Zavecz, who worked tirelessly and selflessly in all three matches.

Emerging tall Elyse Penaluna also impressed in game two, and collected 10 rebounds in Sunday's match.

The Opals trailed by three points at the end of the first quarter, but asserted their superiority with a big second term to open up a 15-point halftime lead that never really came under threat.

With qualification sealed, now comes the task of working seven regular players who missed this series - led by Lauren Jackson - back into the Opals' mix ahead of London.

The Opals will have a concentrated three-month lead-in to London, with most of their star players so far committing to being part of the intensive program planned ahead of the Games.

AAP

Related News

Behind the scenes with the winning Aussie Sharks

Behind the scenes with the winning Aussie Sharks

18 January 2019

The Australian men’s and women’s water polo teams delivered big wins for their local fans, claiming victories in the opening test matches against Japan in Brisbane on Thursday night.

Three months on - Relive Buenos Aires 2018

Three months on - Relive Buenos Aires 2018

17 January 2019

It’s been three months since 88 young athletes from 26 sports travelled to Buenos Aires to represent Australia at the Youth Olympic Games (YOG).

Aussie Spirit and Australia A teams selected for Asia Pacific Cup

Aussie Spirit and Australia A teams selected for Asia Pacific Cup

16 January 2019

Softball Australia have today announced the Aussie Spirit and Australia A teams set to compete in the 2019 Asia Pacific Cup at Blacktown International Sportspark from 31 January – 3 February.

Related Games

London 2012

London 2012

Related Sports

Basketball

Basketball

Related Olympians

Suzy Batkovic
Suzy Batkovic

Suzy Batkovic

Abby Bishop

Abby Bishop