Abby Bishop and Alex Bunton have undergone MRI scans and concerns with Bishop’s ankle and Bunton’s knee will see them require corrective surgery instead of travelling with the Opals to India.
The decision, in consultation with clinicians, will enable both athletes a better long term outcome with their well-being always a major factor.
As their replacements, Alanna Smith will make her debut with the Opals while Alice Kunek, a FIBA Oceania gold medallist in 2015, will again represent the national team.
Smith has played for Stanford in the USA since 2015, competing in the NCAA Championship tournament while last season, she averaged 9.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.
Smith was also a member of the Australian Under-19 Gems team that won the bronze medal in 2015 in Russia.
In addition to her FIBA Oceania gold medal, Kunek won bronze with the World University Games Emerging Opals team in 2013.
She has competed in the WNBL since 2007 and was a member of the Melbourne Boomers last season where she averaged double-figures in scoring for the fourth straight year.
Ahead of the 2017/18 season, she has signed with the Perth Lynx after a short stint in France.
Basketball Australia wishes Abby and Alex well in their recovery and hopes to see them in the green and gold uniform soon.
The Opals are set to head out for India on July 17 before their first game of the FIBA Asia Cup on July 23.
The Australian Opals FIBA Women's Asia Cup Schedule (all times AEST):
July 23: Australia vs. Korea at 3.30pm
July 24: Australia vs. Philippines at 5.45pm
July 25: Australia vs. Japan at 5.45pm
July 27: Quarter-Finals
July 28: Semi-Finals
July 29: Bronze and Gold medal games
The Australian Opals FIBA Women's Asia Cup Team:
|Jersey No.||Surname||First Name||Place of Birth|
GM, Community and Stakeholder Relations
0418 194 933