Opals suffer first defeat in 10 months

Opals suffer first defeat in 10 months

The Australian defencejobs Opals tasted defeat for the first time on their 16 day tour of Asia with a 64-59 loss to the Chinese National team in Shanghai overnight. The Opals have not been defeated since September 2006, when they

The Australian defencejobs Opals tasted defeat for the first time on their 16 day tour of Asia with a 64-59 loss to the Chinese National team in Shanghai overnight.

The Opals have not been defeated since September 2006, when they fell to the United States in a pre-World Championship tournament in North Carolina.


It was the team's first loss in seven games on tour and came in front of an appreciative and vocal home crowd that no doubt lifted the Chinese in a dour and tense final quarter.

The Opals rebounded from a slow start to the game, which saw them trail 9-2 in the early going, and with improved offensive execution were able to claw their way back to a 15-12 deficit at the first change.


The second quarter was played in two halves, with the Australians ramping up the defence and executing at the offensive end to build a nine point lead, only to see the home team respond and claw their way back to lead by a single basket at half-time.


With the deep and talented China team, coached by former Opals mentor Tom Maher, executing at the offensive end and adopting a trapping and switching style defence, the third quarter was a tight affair, with both teams adding 17 points to set up an exciting finish to game one.

The visitors were not able to capitalise on a number of high percentage shots in the paint in the deciding stanza and this proved costly as China rode the home crowd to claw their way to an important five point win.


For the Opals, Emma Randall, Natalie Porter and Alicia Poto were strong contributors.


The Australians will take on the home team in the second game of the series on July 21.

Leading scorers

Rohanee Cox 8

Carly Wilson 8

Emma Randall 8

Leading rebounder

Natalie Porter 7

Assists leader

Alicia Poto 3