EMERGING OPALS PREPARE FOR UNI GAMES WITH FOUR NATIONS TOURNAMENT

EMERGING OPALS PREPARE FOR UNI GAMES WITH FOUR NATIONS TOURNAMENT

Ahead of the World University Games starting later this month, the Australian Emerging Opals are utilising a four-nations tournament as preparation.

The World Uni Games will be held in Taipei from August 21-28 but the Emerging Opals have departed Australia early to play against Japan, Canada and the United States in Tokyo in a friendly tournament.

Prior to leaving, two changes were made to the Australian team with Alanna Smith named to the Opals for the FIBA Asia Cup while Tahlia Tupaea was ruled out with injury.

That opened the door for two Adelaide Lightning players in Chelsea Brook and Aimie Clydesdale to come into the side.

Facing the USA first up, the Emerging Opals stuck with their favoured opposition through a tight first-half but a 12-23 third period proved the difference in a 60-78 loss.

The Aussies shot just 33% from the field and will be also looking to improve on their 17-30 mark from the free-throw line although their interior work was impressive, matching the USA's rebound count while pulling down 18 offensive boards.

Kristy Wallace paced the team with 11 points, three assists and three steals, Lauren Scherf had nine points and five rebounds and Aimie Clydesdale had a team-high four assists.

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The following day, the Emerging Opals backed up against the host nation and atoned for their previous night's loss with an 84-75 victory over Japan.

Darcee Garbin led the charge as Australia overcame a 13-20 opening term and a three-point deficit at three-quarter time with 26 points and ten rebounds including 3-4 shooting from long range.

Abbey Wehrung (13 points, three assists) and Wallace (11 points, three steals) joined her in double-figures while Scherf (seven points, ten boards), Clydesdale (nine points, five assists) and Vanessa Panousis (seven points) also starred.

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The Emerging Opals now face one final game against Canada on Tuesday night before their Uni Games tournament starts the following week.

Find all the stats and some photos from the four-nations friendly here.

The 2017 Emerging Opals Schedule (all times AEST):

August 21: Australia vs. Lithuania at 10pm
August 22: Australia vs. Argentina at 7.30pm
August 23: Australia vs. Russia at 2.30pm
August 25: Quarter-Finals
August 26: Semi-Finals
August 28: Grand Final

The 2017 Emerging Opals World University Games Team:

Brook, Chelsea
Clydesdale, Aimie
Froling, Keely
Garbin, Darcee
McKay, Megan
Panousis, Vanessa
Scherf, Lauren
Sharp, Alex
Turner, Carly
Wallace, Kristy
Wehrung, Abigail
Wilson, Alex

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