OPALS ACCOUNT FOR PHILIPPINES TO STAY UNBEATEN AT FIBA ASIA CUP

OPALS ACCOUNT FOR PHILIPPINES TO STAY UNBEATEN AT FIBA ASIA CUP

The Australian Opals have utilised a significant height and size advantage to defeat the Philippines in their second game of the FIBA Women's Asia Cup, winning 107-65.

Despite Marianna Tolo sitting out with a sore calf, Australia still owned a ten centimetre edge in average heights across the two teams and they benefited from that right from the opening tip.

Kelsey Griffin (nine points, five rebounds) won possession in her first start for the Opals and then scored inside the first ten seconds, going on to record six of the team's first eight points.

She combined easily in the pick and roll with Katie Ebzery while Laura Hodges (ten points, six rebounds) also scored quickly after yesterday’s game vs. Japan when she was the only Opal not to hit the scoreboard.

Belinda Snell, who only had to play five minutes, set the tone defensively with back-to-back blocks on consecutive plays and Australia jumped out to a 24-point lead at the first break, shooting a perfect 11-11 from inside the arc.

The Opals then found their stroke from three-point range with Katie Ebzery (12 points), Steph Blicavs (game-high 18 points) and Lauren Mansfield (12 points, four assists) all keeping the scoreboard ticking over.

They tested out their full-court press defensively as well to finish the half on a 25-0 run with Sara Blicavs punishing the opposition in transition.

She proved close to unstoppable throughout the contest, combining her strength inside with ball-handling ability and finished with 17 points, eight boards, six assists and four steals.

However, out of the main break, Philippines came with a strong intent and Janine Pontejos knocked down consecutive three-pointers which forced Olaf Lange to call a time-out for the Aussies.

The Opals re-calibrated as Maddie Garrick (six points) became the tenth Australian to hit the scoreboard but the Philippines continued to take it up to the Aussies, giving them plenty to work on heading into their final group stage game.

Leading by 45 at half-time, Australia finished the game with a 42-point victory while shooting 56% from the field and 10-22 from the three-point line.

Check out all the stats here.

The Opals will now prepare for Japan with top spot in Group B on the line before they head into the Quarter-Finals.

Watch all the action from 5.45pm AEST tomorrow via Fox Sports Australia on channel 503.

The Australian Opals FIBA Women's Asia Cup Schedule (all times AEST):

July 25: Australia vs. Japan at 5.45pm
July 27: Quarter-Finals
July 28: Semi-Finals
July 29: Bronze and Gold medal games