With only three sleeps to go until the 2023 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup, anticipation is building as the Seven Consulting Opals prepare to represent Australia on home soil in Sydney for the second time in less than 12 months.
Following the roaring success of the most-attended FIBA Women’s World Cup ever in New South Wales last year, the Asia Cup tips off on Monday with eight nations vying for a place on the podium.
Tickets to the final on Sunday July 2 have already sold out and fans are being encouraged to purchase their seats to the semis and group phase soon to avoid missing out.
Spectators will converge on the Quaycentre from 26 June until Sunday July 2 as Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, Chinese Taipei, Korea, Philippines and Lebanon hit the court with some of the best female basketballers in the world in action.
There’s more than just silverware at stake too, with the top four teams progressing to the Paris 2024 Olympic Qualifying Tournaments.
Basketball Australia CEO Matt Scriven said he was excited to get the action underway.
“Now that all the teams have arrived in Australia, Sydney Olympic Park is buzzing with basketball and I can’t wait for Monday when the players hit the court and the fans can watch their team in action,” Scriven said.
“To have two international basketball events hosted in Sydney within the space of 12 months is a terrific result for our sport and I’d like to thank the New South Wales Government for its support of the Asia Cup, as well as Basketball New South Wales who have helped bring the event to life.”
“To have tickets to the final already sold out shows how popular women’s basketball is in our country and we encourage sports fans and the basketball community to purchase their seats now for remaining days of the event and watch these incredible athletes battle it out.”
NSW Minister for Sport Steve Kamper said the hosting of the tournament in Sydney reinforced the State’s reputation as the nation’s major sports event capital.
“Sydney is the home of major global sporting events this winter the 2023 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup adds to the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023TM and State of Origin which will all be hosted in the Harbour City,” Mr Kamper said.
“The 2023 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup will see the region’s leading female basketballers battle it out for the title of Asian champions and give NSW’s passionate basketball fans the chance to relive the excitement of last year’s World Cup.
“I urge all NSW fans to get down to Sydney Olympic Park next week and get behind the Opals is their quest for the 2023 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup.”
The Opals 12-player team boasts three 2022 World Cup bronze medallists (Tess Madgen, Darcee Garbin, Anneli Maley) and a host of medallists from previous Asia Cups (Alice Kunek, Lauren Nicholson, Keely Froling, Lauren Scherf).
The tournament will be an extra special one for trio Amy Atwell, Chloe Bibby and Chantel Horvat, who will achieve their childhood dream of representing the Opals and they’ll do it with family and friends in the stands.
Headlining Group B, Australia plays the Philippines, Chinese Taipei and Japan in the pool games across the opening three nights of the tournament.
The tournament pauses for a rest day on Thursday before finals on Friday and Saturday will determine Sunday’s medal matches.
Japan, filled with resolve to make amends after its ninth-place finish at last year’s World Cup, loom as a tough prospect.
While China, who will be without some key players from its silver-medal winning campaign, will be tough opposition.
Aussie basketball fans will see plenty of familiar faces in the New Zealand camp, coached by veteran WNBL coach Guy Molloy, including Tahlia Tupea, Penina Davidson, Krystal Leger-Walker and Stella Beck who have all played in Australia.
Don’t miss a moment, secure your seats here!