Aussies fill up WNBA finals

Aussies fill up WNBA finals

Australian Opals stars Lauren Jackson and Penny Taylor will be joining the side in three weeks time as teammates, but before they can start thinking about the Czech Republic and the World Championships, they’ll be on the floor as foes, as Jackson’s Seattle Storm and Taylor’s Phoenix Mercury prepare to do battle in the WNBA Western Conference finals series.

Both Aussies were instrumental in their respective team's passage to the conference finals.  Jackson scored 24 points, pulled in nine rebounds as well as adding three blocks and three steals as the Storm beat the LA Sparks 81-66 Saturday to sweep their best-of-three series in two.

Meanwhile, Taylor had 12 points and 12 assists in game two, after dropping 20 in Game One to also lead the Mercury to a sweep in their series against the San Antonio Silver Stars.

Over in the East, Opals hopeful Tully Bevilaqua is also helping her team, Indiana Fever, to a conference final, as they leveled their conference semi-final series against New York at one a piece. That series is decided tonight, the winner playing the Atlanta Dream in the Eastern Conference Finals.

What is certain is we will have at least one Aussie in the WNBA finals playing off for a Championship, possibly two. And it’s this winning form that the Opals coaching staff are hopeful the girls will bring into the World Championships commencing 23 September.

But it also makes finalising the squad difficult, as well as preparing for the tournament disruption free. Whichever player successfully advances, they won’t have long to prepare and recover as the Finals will conclude only days before the World Championships are due to commence.

But it highlights the level at which our women basketball players are at on the global scale, offering somewhat of a prelude to what will hopefully be a successful World Championship defence for the Opals.