The Seven Consulting Opals have claimed a bronze medal at the 2023 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup with a resounding 81-59 win over New Zealand.
Australia quickly put the disappointment of Saturday night’s semi-final loss to China behind it, embracing the short turn around to produce some of its best team basketball of the tournament in front of a sold-out crowd at Sydney’s QuayCentre.
The top-four finish sees the Opals advance to next year’s Paris 2024 Olympic qualifying tournaments.
It was another rose gold medal for trio captain Tess Madgen, Darcee Garbin and Anneli Maley who were part of the Opals World Cup side in Sydney less that 12 months ago.
Australia had five players score in double figures led by Alice Kunek who had an equal game-high 19 points along Tall Fern Penina Davidson, who represents Melbourne Boomers in the WNBL.
Madgen was awarded player of the game for her all-round effort which featured 14 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals.
Anneli Maley showed tenacity at both ends as she recorded an 11-point-11-rebound double-double plus two assists and a steal while Keely Froling, 10 points, 7 rebounds, was again impactful.
Kunek was awarded a place in the All-Star Five after averaging 12 points, four rebounds and two assists per game.
Speaking after the game, an elated but exhausted Garbin, who finished a solid tournament with 13 points, said she was proud of the win.
“I’m absolutely cooked, it’s been a big couple of weeks, but obviously just so happy and so proud of the girls that we could get over the line.
“It’s really hard to get up for these games, we played really late last night and we had to turn around quickly. I think that just shows what the Opals are about, and were able to fight until the end and get that medal!”