Opals confirm squad for Asia Cup

A TRIO of World Cup bronze medalists and headline a 12-player squad to compete in the 2023 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup next week. The final squad announcement was made this morning with three of the dozen players in line for their Opals debut at the home event, which tips off next Monday, June 26.

The Asia Cup will run from June 26 to July 2 at the Quaycentre, with Australia in Group B. The Opals will face the Philippines on opening night, before matches against Chinese Taipei and Japan on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.

In Group A, China is the top seed and looms as Australia’s biggest threat to the title, with Korea, New Zealand and Lebanon rounding out the eight competing nations at the Sydney event.

Fresh off their third place at the World Cup, Tess Madgen, Darcee Garbin and Anneli Maley will all suit up in the green and gold again. Previous Asia Cup silver medallist Alice Kunek, and bronze medallists Keely Froling, Lauren Nicholson and Lauren Scherf round out an experienced team.

Rising stars Shyla Heal and Maddison Rocci have also earned places in the squad, with Victorian duo Chloe Bibby and Chantel Horvat, and West Australian Amy Atwell set to make their senior international debuts.

Of the initial 19-player squad, both Marianna Tolo and Steph Reid are unavailable due to injury, while teenagers Nyadiew Puoch and Isobel Borlase are preparing for the Under-19 World Cup next month.

Townsville Fire head coach Shannon Seebohm will lead the side for the first time as former Opals mentor, Sandy Brondello is in New York coaching the Liberty in the WNBA.

“It’s always a big moment in basketball when an Opals team comes together and I’m excited to see what this group can achieve on the court,” Seybohm said. “We’ve got a good mix of players with the experience of Tess, Darcee and Anneli, while it’s very exciting for Chloe, Chantel and Amy who make their Opals debut.

“Between both international and domestic basketball calendars, schedules do become very busy, so we did face challenges with player availability as well as those trying to recover from injuries.

“The positive is that this gives opportunities to other players, like our debutants, who have the chance to gain valuable experience against international players and represent Australia, which is a special moment for any professional athlete.

“We hope sports fans and the basketball community will get behind the team and come to the Quaycentre and cheer us on.”


Amy Atwell
Chloe Bibby
Keely Froling
Darcee Garbin
Shyla Heal
Chatel Horvat
Alice Kunek
Tess Madgen
Anneli Maley
Lauren Nicholson
Maddison Rocci
Lauren Scherf

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