Gems return home: Italian tour recap

Gems return home: Italian tour recap

Player Diary By Emma LANGFORD March 16 What a great day it has been! First we had the opportunity to see and experience the culture and unique sights of Venezia. After an early start and an hour and half drive

Player Diary

By Emma LANGFORD

March 16

What a great day it has been! First we had the opportunity to see and experience the culture and unique sights of Venezia. After an early start and an hour and half drive through peak traffic we parked our buses and entered the city by foot over the cobblestone bridges.


We walked through narrow pathways, between historic buildings and over canals until we found the real city square, as we had twice previously thought we had found it. From there we split up, however most of us went straight to the bank for more money!

We walked around enjoying the shopping; a few of us became quite good at bartering, learning from the best - Ebonie Scase, our physio.


We had a nice ride on the famous gondolas while the driver provided us with some interesting historical facts and harmonious melody as he sang and swayed the gondola.


|We were doing quite a bit of walking, but luckily the five scoop waffle cones of good quality gelato kept us going.


Then it was back to the car park, for a 10-level hike up a spiral stairwell to the buses.


Once again we had a bit of trouble finding the dome stadium and gave a call for help. It was just around the corner from where we were sitting, supposedly lost!


With a couple of hours to prepare for the game, we had a partner massage session while watching our coaches Dean and Chooka ripping it up on court. Both were in pretty good form until Dean had a fall over the court barriers and luckily came up with no injuries.


Coming up against a good team, ranked 4th in the Serie A, the game was a bit scrappy with Venezia punishing us for our mistakes.


At half time we were down by 8, but we ran out of legs toward the end of the game and lost by 28 points.

We then had a four hour trip back to Milan to end our excellent tour which was a great experience on and off the court.


Our Coaches Dean, Chooka and Sonya, our Manager Michele and our Physio Ebonie should all be commended for their hard work and organisation.

Good work to all the girls for taking another step up in the direction of our goal.

Signing off from Italy, Emma.

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Previously...

Game Report

Gems v Venezia

March 16

Venezia too strong for Gems

Australia’s Under 19 women’s basketball team, the Gems, lost to Italian first division side Venezia in Italy early this morning Australian time, 93-65.

The match was the Gems’ last on a tour of Italy undertaken to prepare for the 2007 FIBA World Championship for Under 19 women, set to take place in the Slovak Republic in July.

The loss took the Gems’ win/loss record to 2-and-4 at the completion of the 6 game tour.

“From our point of view it was a highly successful tour in terms of what we were trying to establish,” Gems head coach Dean Kinsman said.

“Experiencing the international style of game that they play in Europe was something we needed to do.”

“We’re more than pleased. It was a great tour for us.”

In similar fashion to the Gems’ previous game against Famila Schio, the Aussies found themselves the target of extended pressure from the get-go and after one period they trailed 30-14.

At one point in the second quarter the lead had ballooned to 22 points, but the young Australians showed great fight to produce a run that reduced the margin to just 4 points.

At half time Venezia led 44-36 but the Gems would not get closer to victory than that.

Ranked fourth in the premier Italian women’s league and just one game out of first place, the Venetians controlled the second half with their speed and execution.

The Gems could not respond after four games in four days and a morning spent wistfully cruising the canals of Venice. They trailed 72-47 after three quarters and eventually fell by 28 points.

Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) Rookie of the Year Cayla Francis top scored for Australia with 17 points, while Abby Bishop rounded out her great tour with 15 points.

Giorgia Sottana and Sherome Sanford top scored for Venzia with 17 points apiece.

“I was pleased with our effort in the first half to turn the game around, but we paid the price for playing catch up,” Kinsman said.

“It was a bit disturbing that we couldn’t bounce back in the second half, but without making excuses our schedule has not been forgiving.

“Touring Venice on the morning of a match is not ideal preparation, but it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for these girls and that cultural aspect is all part of the tour.”

The Australian side arrives back in Australia on Saturday night.

AUSTRALIA 65 – Francis 17, Bishop 15, Tolo 8
VENEZIA 93 – Sottana 17, Sanford 17

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Player Diary

By Ellie MANOU

March 15

Bonjourno!

Firstly, before I tell you about our latest adventures, I have to set something straight. Contrary to all other accounts, I do not lose “Spotto”! Bec Schatz is the undisputed champion and I am currently in second place. Just to set the record straight…

After a hearty breakfast and some valued downtime we set off for our next destination, Montichiairi. On the way to the game we came across some smells that made us feel quiet uncomfortable. There was only one person who was not affected by these smells and that was our token farm girl, Emma Langford. She was in her element, naming which animals made the certain smells. Thanks Emmy! Not….

Now onto the important thing, the game, and I’m proud to inform you that in a nail biting, physical and up tempo encounter, we won by a single point! It was a huge step forward for the Gems.

We were looking to take the positive momentum into our next game against the World Championship “Most Valuable Player” and defencejobs Opals star Penny Taylor and her talented WNBA/Famila Schio counterparts.

They showed us right from the tip off that they were everything that a reigning Italian national league champion should be. They had a flawless game plan, executing perfectly on offence and playing suffocating defence. They defeated us by 21 points.


Penny Taylor had a solid game, showing no signs of the hand injury that prevented her from playing at the beginning of the season. She really is the complete player and competing against her has really given us young Gems something to aspire to.

After a night in watching game tape and eating pizza (pictured) we are really looking forward to travelling to Venice tomorrow and playing our final game of the tour.


Thanks for tuning in… until next time.. Ciao, Ellie.

P.S. A quick shout out to my sister for her 19th birthday!!!

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Previously...

Game Report

Gems v Famila Schio

March 15

Opal Taylor inspires Gems

2006 FIBA World Championship MVP Penny Taylor showed Australia’s under 19 women’s basketball team all her class this morning.

Taylor led her Italian Club side Famila Schio to victory over the Gems in Italy 86-65, but afterwards spent time with her young compatriots to offer an insight into what it takes to reach the mountaintop of world basketball.

The Gems are using an Italian tour to prepare for the 2007 FIBA World Championship for Under 19 women, set to take place in the Slovak Republic in July and August.

“Penny was terrific,” Gems head coach Dean Kinsman said of Taylor, herself a former Gem.

“Her athleticism and the way she moved around the court were excellent.

“She chatted with our coaching staff before the game and then after the game she warmed down and stretched with our girls and said a few words about our upcoming world championship.

“She even came back to our hotel and ordered some pizzas for us in her fluent Italian.

“She is an inspiration and a great ambassador for Australia.”

Despite the match being a ‘friendly’, Schio opened the game with extended pressure on the ball, complimented by a 78 per cent opening quarter shooting percentage that saw them ahead 30-14 at the first break.

The Gems displayed a fierce determination on the defensive end in the second quarter to slow Schio’s momentum, but against a team featuring the offensive firepower of four WNBA players they trailed at half time, 51-29.

When the Gems found another gear in the second half a victory was almost beyond reach and with a quarter to play the score line ominously read 73-43.

But in true Aussie style the Gems continued to fight, actually winning the second half by a point 36-35 but falling well short of a miraculous come back victory.

Los Angeles Spark Raffaela Masciardi was the game’s leading scorer with 17 points, followed by Taylor with 15 points.

Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) duo Marianna Tolo and Cayla Francis top scored for the Gems with 13 and 12 points respectively, while Canberra Capital Abby Bishop added 11 points.

“Schio are a fantastic team and they played extremely well,” Kinsman said. “Their first 15 minutes was outstanding.

“In fact, it was one of the highest quality games that I’ve ever been involved with.

“They are a real threat to win the Italian Serie A competition, so I am particularly pleased with the way we hung in there in the second half.”

The Gems depart Schio for Venice tomorrow where they will enjoy a morning in the Adriatic jewel before a game against the local Serie A team, Venezia.

A return trip to Milan the following day ends the Gems’ Italian tour. They will arrive back in Australia on QF32 at 7:30pm AEDT on Saturday night.

AUSTRALIA 65 – Tolo 13, Francis 12, Bishop 11
FAMILA SCHIO 86 – Masciardi 17, Taylor 15

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Previously...


Game report:
Gems v Montichiari

March 14

Gems climb Montichiari mountain

Australia’s under 19 women’s basketball team, the Gems, registered their second win on the trot early this morning by defeating Italian first division side Montichiari 64-63 in Italy.

The Gems are using the Italian tour to prepare for July’s FIBA World Championship for Under 19 women, set to take place in the Slovak Republic.

Abby Bishop top scored for Australia with 17 points and was well supported by Mia Newley with 14 points and Rebecca Schatz with 10 points.

Brazilian international Jucimara Dantis top scored for Montichiari with 15 points.

The Gems were focused from the tip off and after one quarter the home crowd was stunned to see their team trailing 21-15.

Montichiari’s changing defences in the second quarter broke the Gems’ rhythm but the Italians still trailed at the half, 34-33.

Los Angeles Spark Doneeka Hodges lifted the Italians in the third quarter and with one period to play the Gems trailed by four points, 47-51.

A Montichairi 3-pointer to open the final term sent the crowd into a frenzy and pushed the lead to 7 points, but the Gems would not go lightly.

They blocked out the cheers and banded together to make a charge at Montichairi, creating ‘stops’ at the defensive end and making good decisions at the offensive end.

When defencejobs WNBL Rookie of the Year Cayla Francis combined with Bishop for a well-executed two points the lead was reduced to just one point.

Mia Newley then picked off a pass in the lane and was fouled on her lay-up attempt and with the game in the balance the 18-year old calmly drained both free throws to put the Gems in front.

The feisty and physical Italian side threw their weight around in the final seconds but the Gems’ defence held strong for the win.

“I am proud, absolutely,” said Gems head coach Dean Kinsman.

“We were terrific from the start and down the stretch we made some really good decisions.

“It was a good stepping stone.”

The Gems have less than 24 hours to recover before facing Italian first division side Famila Schio, which boasts four WNBA players and 2006 FIBA World Championship MVP Penny Taylor.

AUSTRALIA 64 – Bishop 17, Newley 14, Schatz 10
MONTICHIARI 63 – J Dantis 15, M Fazio 14

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Previously...

Game report:
Gems v Carugate
March 13

Gems victorious in Varese

Australia’s under 19 women’s basketball team, the Gems, defeated Italian second division club Pentamedia Carugate in Italy this afternoon, 83-56.

The Gems are using the Italian tour to prepare for July’s FIBA World Championship for Under 19 women, set to take place in the Slovak Republic.

Canberra Capital Abby Bishop top scored for Australia with 15 points while AIS student Rebecca Schatz chimed in with 9 points.

Hicovic led Carugate with 13 points.

The Gems opened the game with a high pressure man-to-man defence that rattled the Italians and saw the Aussies ahead at quarter time, 18-15.

The Gems got their running game going in the second quarter and extended the lead to double digits by half time, 41-29.

A blowout was on the cards in the third quarter before Carugate showed why they are ranked second in their league by fighting back to reduce the margin to 14 points at the end of three quarters, 64-50.

But the Gems showed their class by finishing over the top of Carugate and winning convincingly, 83-56.

“It was good,” Gems head coach Dean Kinsman said.

“We created a lot of turnovers and our running game was solid as a result.

“If we can get that tone established against some of the stronger teams that we are going to play, then we are in good shape.”

AUSTRALIA 83 - Bishop 15, Schatz 9, Francis 7, Manou 7, Tolo 7
CARUGATE 56 - Hicovic 13, Arcangeli 10

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Player Diary
By Marianna TOLO and Mia NEWLEY

March 13

After a narrow loss to Jenni Screen's Italian club side Parma, the Gems have spent the last two days preparing for their clash with defencejobs Opal Penny Taylor and her team Famila Schio.

Aside from a number of training and recovery sessions, the Gems used their spare time to see the sights of Italy and along the way encountered anything from Jack Nicholson look-a-likes to peppermint mist showers.

Click here to read Marianna Tolo's and Mia Newley’s hand written player diary.

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Previously...

Game report:
Gems v Parma
March 11

Screen shaken after Gem of a hit

World Champion defencejobs Opal Jenni Screen was left wobbly on her feet in Australia’s Under 19 women’s basketball team’s narrow loss to Italian club side Parma in Italy this morning.

Screen plays for Parma in the premier Italian women’s league, Serie A, while the Australian Gems are on a tour of Italy to prepare for July’s FIBA world championship for Under 19 women.

The hit occurred when Australian Gem Ellie Manou stopped Screen with a solid defensive screen, but showing her world championship mettle, the Opal then made both resulting free throws.

“She walked right into it,” said Gems manager Michele Menso. “And she was stumbling around for a little while afterwards.”

Parma defeated the younger Gems 81-76, but considering the Europeans are ranked second in their league, the narrow loss could easily be considered a success.

After a 20-point loss to Italian club side La Spezia just 24 hours before, the refocused Gems began the game well with consecutive 3-point baskets from defencejobs WNBL Championship winner Abby Bishop and defencejobs WNBL Rookie of the Year Cayla Francis.

Parma responded with a disciplined physical effort that resulted in Gems turnovers and scoreboard ascendancy by quarter time.

The Gems’ sustained defensive effort in the second quarter forced Parma to work hard in the half-court for scoring opportunities and when Bishop converted two free throws on the half time siren, Parma’s lead was reduced to 9 points, 45-36.

The Gems used their quickness to score high percentage baskets in the third quarter while continuing to apply pressure on Parma.

Emma Langford and Ellie Manou made excellent defensive plays, but the experience of the Parma players ensured their team took advantage of every error from the young Gems.

The Gems rallied together in the last quarter to mount another attack on Parma, reducing the margin to just two points on the back of Mia Newley’s two 3-point baskets.

But the experienced Parma players slowed the game down to safeguard victory.

The Gems will take a 2 hour drive to Varese tomorrow to undergo recovery and training sessions before a game on Tuesday morning, Australian time.

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Player Diary
By Molly LEWIS and Nicole HUNT

March 8


Ciao,

Lunch time was harder than expected today with no English speaking waiters, or English menus, but we all managed to get our correct meal in the end - even though for Marianna Tolo it was bite size!


After lunch we had 30 minutes to wander around the local La Spezia markets, where we all purchased  "authentic" Italian pearl earrings at the tiny cost of 100 Euro a pair!!! (Just joking, Mums!)


Returning to the hotel we had the chance to view all the beautiful buildings, churches and spectacular scenery of LA Spezia and each one of us was truly amazed with the town's beauty.


Soon enough, game time rolled around and the World Champion Opal Belinda Snell was at our hotel to escort us to the venue. So far we haven't even been lost. Well, not too often...


Our first game was disappointing and we went down by 20pts, but by now you would be aware of that. We have confidence in each other to know that with each game we are only going to get better.


Afterwards, dinner was an eventful evening - and longer than expected as well.


Firstly, we were served the traditional LA Spezia entrees - and they just kept coming. Our tables were not big enough to seat the entire group, so Nic, Tolo, Ellie, Sonya and Ebonie were relegated to what we called the "kiddies table".


After talking and eating for about an hour, our main meal arrived, and yet again Schatzy was the last to receive hers. By this time she was starving and went to tuck in immediately, but her plate was balanced on the edge of the table and she wore her pizza in her lap.

Not to be beaten, Schatzy collected what she could from her lap and put the pizza back togetehr and continued to eat it.


While Schatzy held the entire restaurant's attention with her antics, we discovered that Nikita Martin had been locked in the toilet and had been frantically banging on the door for someone to release her!

By midnight we were finally tucked into our beds.


We are enjoying the Italian hospitality very much. They are very friendly people.

So now it's good night!


Love Molly and Nic.

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Previously...

Game report:
Gems v La Spezia
March 8


Snell shows Gems how to shine

World champion defencejobs Opal Belinda Snell has led her Italian club side La Spezia to a 67-47 victory over the Australian under 19 women’s basketball team in Italy this morning.

Marianna Tolo top scored for the Australian Gems with 13 points. She was supported by Cayla Francis who scored 9 points and Mia Newley who scored 7 points.

Snell (pictured) scored 15 points to lead La Spezia, while 6 foot 2 American centre Courtney Willis proved difficult to contain.

“Snelly played like the champion she is,” Gems head coach Dean Kinsman told Basketball Australia.

After a nightmare 50 hour journey from Australia to Italy, the Gems started sluggishly in the opening quarter as Snell showed no mercy on her young compatriots by connecting on two long bombs.

Trailing by double digits, the Gems upped their defensive tempo and rebounding intensity in the second quarter to rattle La Spezia and win the period 20-16, but they trailed 42-28 at the half.

The half time break erased any momentum the Gems had and they reverted to their first quarter malaise.

When La Spezia extended the lead to 20 points in the third quarter, the Gems coaches decided not to over-exert their travel-weary charges and opted for a high rotation of players for the remainder of the game.

“It was a good one to get out of our system first up,” Kinsman said. “The travel was definitely a factor and we’ll be looking for improvement from here on in.”

“The girls played well and we’re looking forward to tomorrow’s game.”

The Gems will face World Champion defencejobs Opal Jenni Screen’s Italian club side Parma tomorrow morning, Australian time.

LA SPEZIA 67 – Snell 15, Willis 15
AUSTRALIA 47 – Tolo 13, Francis 9, Newley 7

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Player Diary
March 6-7
By Abby Bishop and Rebecca Schatz

What a start to our tour – Emma Langford forgot her passport! Luckily, we were still in the AIS car park when she realized!

We knew this trip to Italy was going to be a long, 34 hour slog, but who would have thought it would end up being a tiring 48 hour marathon.

First there was a 30 minute delay departing Canberra airport to Sydney, due to the late arrival of our plane. Then in Sydney we had to face a 2 hour delay because of an electrical storm.

Finally, we heard our boarding call and eagerly settled in to our seats ready for take off and the start of our long but exciting journey.

Nope.

We sat on the Sydney tarmac for another 45 minutes because a man had gone missing in Botany Bay and the search and rescue helicopters were in our flight path.

Eventually we were on our way, headed for Bangkok and then on to London.

On arrival in London we knew we wouldn’t make our connecting flight, but that arrangements were being made to find an alternate flight to Milan. We caught the next flight a few hours later at 11.55 am, but were headed for Linate, not Malpensa where our hire vehicles were waiting for us! Things were not getting better.


We did meet many Celtic Football supporters on our flight to Milan, as AC Milan were taking on Celtic in a Euroleague Cup qualifier, and their supporters were in full swing - loudly singing there team song over and over all the way to Milan. The Gems have an additional fan base now, but we have yet to come up with a team song for them to sing for us!

We thought things were looking up for us on our arrival in Milan as we were ushered through customs quickly and ahead of everyone else.

Then we spent an hour in the Polizia office.

What happened was, they changed their Visa format about a week ago and they’re in the middle of the transition period, so they required each and every one of us to complete the form and then sit in the office for a separate interview to get a stamp of approval.

Leaving Linate airport we boarded a bus for a four hour unscheduled trip to Malpensa to collect our hire vehicles for the last leg of our travel to La Spezia - and our hotel beds.

Pizza and hot chocolate from a roadside truck stop half way to La Spezia helped to keep our spirits up and to everyone’s credit there wasn’t a single complaint or whinge. We took all the hurdles in our stride.

Today is a new day! A great breakfast - very European with hot chocolate, pastries, fruit and beautiful breads – and we were well rested and ready for the next step of our tour.

Recovery was conducted in the hallways and stairwells of our hotel after our physio Ebonie Scase turned it into a mini circuit class to get our bodies active and alert, amusing many of the hotel patrons.

Belinda Snell arrived this morning to visit with the Gems and to take us to the local piazza! It is great to see an Aussie over here. We will have more news from Belinda in our next player diary as we play her team La Spezia tonight.

The locals in La Spezia are very friendly and we are looking forward to our game.

Until our next update, arriverdici (don’t check the spelling!!)

Abby and Bec


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Previously....

Gems depart for Tour of Duty

Armed with beanies, scarves and hoodies, Australia’s Under 19 women’s national basketball team disembarked in Milan this morning ahead of a six game tour of Italy.

The Gems boarded Qantas flight QF001 from Sydney International Airport yesterday and will use the tour to prepare for July’s world championship in the Slovak Republic.

They will play games against the premier teams of Italy’s domestic basketball league for women, Serie A, and will match up against world champion defencejobs Opals Penny Taylor (Familia Schio), Belinda Snell (La Spezia) and Jenni Screen (Parma).

The Gems play the first game of their tour on Thursday morning, Australian time, against Snell’s La Spezia.

Basketball Australia caught up with all the Gems coaching staff and players to gauge their expectations for the tour and to find out how they felt about taking on our world champion defencejobs Opals.

Pictures appear courtesy of Action Sports Images

Abby Bishop – 189cm Forward/Centre (Canberra Capitals)

“It is really good preparation for this year’s world championship to be playing against the likes of Penny Taylor, Jenni Screen and Belinda Snell.

“My experience in the WNBL has helped me develop as a player, especially with the type of players at Canberra, so I will be able to bring some experience to the Gems and hopefully we will get a few wins and give the Italians a run for their money.”

Rebecca Schatz – 185cm Forward (AIS)

“It’s a bit nerve-racking to be playing against those girls, but it will be a great experience to see how the game is played overseas.

“Jenni Screen has trained with us at the AIS a few times and she is pretty scary.

“The whole thing is all very surreal for me. When you go home and speak about playing for Australia you just can’t believe you have done it.”

Cayla Francis – 192cm Forward/Centre (AIS)

“This is my second Gems tour, so I am excited but anxious - and nervous as well. I just want to play well, play hard and have a good experience.

“It’s pretty nerve-racking, but I’ll try to get the job done and do what I am told to do.”


Nicole Hunt – 167cm Point Guard (AIS)

“I can’t wait to play with all the girls again and I am looking forward to the tour. I have only been away with the team once before, to Taipei, so I can’t wait.

“It will be nice to do some shopping, but I don’t think we will get to much free time.”

Katie Ebzery – 177cm Point Guard (AIS)

“Playing against the European teams will be an awesome experience for us and will enable us to prepare for the world championship. The tour is about the learning experience - finding out what the European teams and leagues are like.” 

Emma Langford – 187cm Forward (AIS)

“It’s very exciting and a bit scary, but I’m looking forward to playing against such great players as Belinda Snell. There are five South Australian girls in the team and we have come up together and now we’re representing Australia, which is great.”

Marianna Tolo – 193cm Centre (AIS)

“I have mixed emotions. I am nervous, but I’m excited. It’s going to be tough, but a good experience for us.”

Jaimee Kennedy – 179 Guard (AIS)

“It’s a great opportunity for us to gain experience against older and more mature teams. We will go in with a ‘work hard’ attitude and see what we can bring together.”

Mia Newley180cm Guard/Forward (AIS)

“Going on tour is always pretty exciting and once you put on the uniform you feel like you are playing for everyone in Australia, which is a very special thing that not many people get to do.”

Nikita Martin – 181cm Guard (AIS)

“It will be a really good experience and one that not may people will get to do. We are striving to one day be Opals so to play against some of them will be amazing.”


Ellie Manou – 189cm Forward (AIS)

“I am looking forward to playing the international game and getting a bit of a change. It’s a big sense of pride every time you put on the green and gold and the Opals are the world champions, so playing against those players will be a great experience.”

Molly Lewis – 181cm Guard/Forward (AIS)

“We want to be competitive. We don’t want go out there thinking we are going to win but we want to be competitive.

“I feel very proud when I represent Australia - I feel indestructible.”


Dean Kinsman - Head Coach

“The tour will allow us to get back together again and regain some momentum. We also have to get Abby Bishop back amongst the group so we can capitalise on her experiences over the last month with the WNBL finals.

“We will try and establish our play against the European style of game, which is extremely important for us before the world championship.

“We are playing against quality teams, including Schio which has five WNBA players in its starting group, so that will be a major challenge in itself. It’s exciting for the girls to play against people like that, but we will looking for some wins.

“It is far more physical in Europe off the ball than what they allow here, so the players will have to make some adjustments in order to get used to that.

“We are playing senior professional teams so once we get to play some games following this tour against teams our age the wins will come and we will be in a position before the world championships where we feel we can beat any body.

“The tour will be a great experience because of the travel, European conditions, the different style of refereeing, the physicality and its gets the girls exposed to all of that before we return for the world championships, so everything we learn from this tour we will take into the future.”

Sonya Knight - Assistant Coach

“It is always interesting for young girls to travel to another country and experience a different type of game and at the world championships you come up against a variety of different styles - that is why we need this European experience.”

Dale Waters - Assistant coach

“There is a good connection between the group and I think with four months to go until the world championships it is getting really exciting.

“We are playing against some fairly reputable players and division one teams, so I think to be competitive and experience the different styles of hoops and the chance to play together in a foreign land will be important.”

Michele Menso - Team Manager

“We are going to continue using this link between the AIS, Basketball Australia and Italy into the future, but my really poor Italian has been a major obstacle. It has forced me to undertake a language course!”

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In related news, FIBA, in cooperation with the Slovak Basketball Association, hosted on Tuesday, March 6th in Bratislava the draw for the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women.

The 7th FIBA U19 World Championship for Women will be played from July 26th to August 5th 2007 in Bratislava (Slovak Republic) with 16 teams comprised of players born in 1988 or after.

Australia’s team, the Gems, have been selected in Group D alongside Brazil, Mali and Sweden, while Spain, China and Team USA have been selected on the other side of the draw.

The Gems are currently touring Italy to play games against first division Italian women’s teams in preparation for the world championship event.

They will play their first world championship game against Brazil on July 26th.

Please find below the result of the draw, as well as the complete event schedule.

Composition of groups:

Group A: Argentina, Korea, Slovak Republic and Spain
Group B: China, Ivory Coast, Lithuania and USA
Group C: Canada, Czech Republic, Japan and Serbia
Group D: Australia, Brazil. Mali and Sweden

Preliminary Round:

26th July 2007:

Group A:
Game A1: Argentina vs. Spain
Game A2: Slovak Republic vs. Korea

Group B:
Game B1: China vs. Lithuania
Game B2: Ivory Coast vs.   USA

Group C:
Game C1: Serbia vs. Canada
Game C2: Japan vs. Czech Republic

Group D:
Game D1: Mali vs. Sweden
Game D2: Brazil vs. Australia

27th July 2007:

Group A:
Game A3: Korea vs. Argentina
Game A4: Spain vs. Slovak Republic

Group B:
Game B3: USA vs. China
Game B4: Lithuania vs. Ivory Coast

Group C:
Game C3: Czech Republic vs. Serbia
Game C4: Canada vs. Japan

Group D:
Game D3: Australia vs. Mali
Game D4: Sweden vs. Brazil

28th July 2007:

Group A:
Game A5: Argentina vs.   Slovak Republic
Game A6: Korea vs. Spain

Group B:
Game B5: China vs. Ivory Coast
Game B6: USA vs. Lithuania

Group C:
Game C5: Serbia vs. Japan
Game C6: Czech Republic vs. Canada

Group D:
Game D5: Mali vs. Brazil
Game D6: Australia vs. Sweden

The 3 best-placed teams in each group will qualify for the Eighth-Final Round.

The teams placed 4th in each group will qualify for the Classification Round for 13th to 16th places.

Important note: The order of the games for each of the further rounds will be determined after the last day of the preceding round.

29th July 2007: Rest Day


Eighth-Final Round:

The 12 teams qualified from the Preliminary Round will be divided into 2 groups (E and F) of 6 teams each.

The 3 teams placed 1st to 3rd from groups A and B will play in Group E.

The 3 teams placed 1st to 3rd from groups C and D will play in Group F.

Each team will play the 3 new teams in its own group (the final scores of all games played in the Preliminary Round are valid for this Round).

30th July 2007:

Classification:
Game 25: A4  vs. B4
Game 26: C4  vs. D4

Group E:
Game 27: B2  vs. A2
Game 28: B3  vs. A1
Game 29: B1  vs. A3

Group F:
Game 30: D2  vs. C2
Game 31: D3  vs. C1
Game 32: D1  vs. C3

31st July 2007:

Classification:
Game 33: Loser 25 vs. Loser 26 (15 - 16)
Game 34: Winner 25 vs. Winner 26 (13 - 14)

Group E: Game 35: A3 vs. B3
Game 36: A1  vs. B2
Game 37: A2  vs. B1

Group F:
Game 38: C3  vs. D3
Game 39: C1  vs. D2
Game 40: C2  vs. D1

1st August 2007:

Group E:
Game 41: B2 vs. A3
Game 42: B3 vs. A2
Game 43: B1 vs. A1

Group F:
Game 44: D2 vs. C3
Game 45: D3 vs. C2
Game 46: D1 vs. C1

The teams placed 13th to 16th return home after their last game.

The teams placed 1st to 4th in each group will qualify for the Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Finals.

The teams placed 5th and 6th in each group will qualify for the Classification Round for 9th to 12th places.

2nd August 2007: Rest Day

Quarter-Finals:

3rd August 2007:

Classification:
Game 47: E5  vs. F6
Game 48: E6  vs. F5

Quarter-Finals:
Game 49: E1 vs. F4
Game 50: E3  vs. F2
Game 51: E2  vs. F3
Game 52: E4  vs. F1

Semi-Finals:

4th August 2007:

Classification:
Game 53: Loser 47 vs. Loser 48 (11 - 12)
Game 54: Winner 47 vs. Winner 48 (9 - 10)

Game 55: Loser 49 vs. Loser 50
Game 56: Loser 51 vs. Loser 52

Semi-Finals: Game 57: Winner 49 vs. Winner 50
Game 58: Winner 51 vs. Winner 52      

Finals:

5th August 2007:

Classification:
Game 59: Loser 55 vs. Loser 56 (7 - 8)
Game 60: Winner 55 vs. Winner 56 (5 - 6)

Finals: Game 61:
Loser 57 vs. Loser 58 (3 - 4) Bronze Medal match
Game 62: Winner 57 vs. Winner 58 (1 - 2) Gold Medal match