Opals shine in Italy
WHILE Australia's premier basketballer Lauren Jackson has led her team Samsung Bichumi to the South Korean grand final, five other members of the Opals' world championship side are playing key roles in the Italian league as it approaches its finals, writes Stephen Howell for The Age.
The Opals are among eight former Women's National Basketball League players in Italy and all bar one are in top-eight teams with five matches left in the 30-game season.
Laura Summerton (pictured above, middle) was the standout player of round 25 with 24 points as Taranto (third, 19-6) beat Maddaloni 80-72. Renae Camino, who played with Townsville Fire this season, had eight points in her second game with Taranto.
Penny Taylor continues to star in Italy, where she is third-best scorer with 18.5 points a game, just ahead of another Opal, Belinda Snell (18). Taylor had 21 points as Schio (seventh, 15-10) lost to third-placed Venice 62-56. Snell had 16 as La Spezia (eighth, 14-11) beat second-placed Naples 64-61.
Opal Jenni Screen (pictured above, right) had 20 points and Desi Glaubitz (Bulleen) had 10 as Parma (fifth, 18-7) lost 70-66 to Ribera.
Emma Randall has moved to Italy after starting the season with Russian club Samara and had eight points as struggling Alghero (15th, 3-22) beat Commense 53-44.
In related news, 2007 defencejobs Opals squad member Michelle Brogan (pictured) has been named the Big V Player of the Week for round two.
In just her first competitive game since returning from an extended lay-off, Brogan scored 20 points and tallied 12 rebounds, four assists and three steals playing for the Melbourne Tigers in an 88-72 win over Dandenong at the Veneto Club in Bulleen, Melbourne.
As the starting forward, Brogan’s equal team high of 20 points came on 7-of-11 field shooting in 28 minutes on court with seven of her 12 rebounds coming at the offensive end.
It was the Tigers’ first game of the 2007 season and puts them third on the ladder.
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