Opals bounce back with big win over France

Opals bounce back with big win over France

The Jayco Australian Opals have produced a convincing display to account for France 71-55 in the second game of their pre-FIBA World Championship for Women tournament in Paris overnight.

Coming off a hard-fought loss to Team USA 24 hours prior, the Jayco Opals responded in emphatic fashion – highlighted by a dominant 26-13 third quarter led by Penny Taylor and Erin Phillips, which set up the 16-point victory.

After shooting 35% from the field against Team USA, it was a much-improved performance from the Australians, converting at a lofty 54% against the tournament hosts.

Promoted to the starting five, Phillips led the way for the Jayco Opals, posting a game-high 14 points (6-of-10 FG) to go with four rebounds and two assists.

Liz Cambage sat out the win after suffering a lower leg injury against Team USA on Friday night, allowing Marianna Tolo to step into the starting role, posting 11 points on 5-of-5 from the field along with two assists in 29 minutes.

Jayco Opals Head Coach Brendan Joyce said he was pleased with how his team responded after the previous day’s defeat, highlighting the production of his bench as a shining light.

“We were right in there against the Americans considering we shot the ball poorly, so to respond like we did tonight and really make the most of our opportunities was very pleasing,” Joyce said.

“Tonight was a great insight into the quality of depth we have in the team. To get 30 points from the bench is a great sign and gives the coaching staff confidence that we can go to our reserves knowing they can give us that energy and production.

“We continue to play with great intensity on the defensive end and our bigs in Marianna Tolo, Natalie Burton, Cayla Francis and Laura Hodges were superb on the boards. Our defence has become a real hallmark of our game and tonight this helped us create turnovers and get our offense going.”

Belinda Snell (nine points and five rebounds) and Rebecca Allen (nine points, three rebounds and four steals) lead the bench offensive providing a strong impact at both ends of the floor.

After France raced to an early lead 6-0 lead it was all the Jayco Opals as the team closed the opening quarter on a 13-5 run inspired by Phillips and Allen to hold a 19-15 lead.

In the shadows of half time this lead grew to double digits for the first time before the home team rallied to cut the deficit to just five points, ensuring they stayed in touch.

The third quarter showed the very best of the Jayco Opals as they dominated the hosts, outscoring them 26-13 to establish an unassailable 60-42 lead heading into the final period.

Early baskets had the lead reach a whopping 22 points midway through the final quarter before France rallied to add some respect to the final margin.

Next up for the Jayco Opals is the final game of the Paris Tournament against China, tipping off TONIGHT at 10:30pm AEST.


Jayco Australian Opals 71-55  France
Q1: 19-15
Q2: 34-29
Q3: 60-42
Q4: 71-55

The Jayco Opals open their 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women in Istanbul against Cuba on Saturday night 27 September at 9:15pm AEST.

Based in the Istanbul, the Jayco Opals will also face Korea and Belarus in their Group C fixtures leading into the knockout rounds and eventually the tournament final in the early hours of Monday 6 October.

CLICK HERE to see the full schedule for the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women.

Fans won’t miss a minute of the action from Turkey with all Jayco Australian Opals games to be broadcast LIVE and in full on ABC2 as part of their extensive 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women coverage.

The 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women will be held in Turkey from 28 September to 6 October.

Jayco Australian Opals pre-FIBA World Championship for Women 

Paris Tournament

Jayco Australian Opals 66-72 USA

Jayco Australian Opals 71-55 France

Jayco Australian Opals v China
Sunday 21 September @ Stade Pierre De Coubertin, Paris 10:30pm (All times AEST)

Jayco Australian Opals FIBA World Championship for Women – Group Stage Fixture

Jayco Australian Opals v Cuba
Saturday 27 September @ City Arena, Istanbul 9:15pm (All times AEST)
TV: LIVE on ABC2 Nationally

Jayco Australian Opals v Korea
Sunday 28 September @ City Arena, Istanbul 9:15pm
TV: LIVE on ABC2 Nationally

Jayco Australian Opals v Belarus
Tuesday 30 September @ City Arena, Istanbul 11:30pm
TV: LIVE on ABC2 Nationally

Jayco Australian Opals Team – 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women

Rebecca Allen – Melbourne Boomers
Natalie Burton – Melbourne Boomers
Elizabeth Cambage – Dandenong Rangers
Cayla Francis – Townsville Fire
Laura Hodges – Adelaide Lightning
Rachel Jarry – Melbourne Boomers
Tessa Lavey – Bendigo Spirit
Leilani Mitchell – Sydney Uni Flames
Erin Phillips – Phoenix Mercury (WNBA)
Belinda Snell – Bendigo Spirit
Penny Taylor – Phoenix Mercury (WNBA)
Marianna Tolo – Bourges (France)

Coaching Staff

Head Coach: Brendan Joyce
Assistant Coaches: Damian Cotter and Lori Chizik
Technical Assistant Coach: Scott Butler

For all the latest on the Jayco Opals ahead of their journey to Turkey be sure to visit the BA website at www.basketball.net.au.