Home » ‘Super special’: Opals dominate despite Jackson’s struggles as she looks ahead to fifth Games

‘Super special’: Opals dominate despite Jackson’s struggles as she looks ahead to fifth Games

‘Super special’: Opals dominate despite Jackson’s struggles as she looks ahead to fifth Games

Opals centre Marianna Tolo makes room for a shot.

Opals centre Marianna Tolo makes room for a shot.Credit: Getty Images

They have played them both here and in China in the lead up to Paris 2024 and the Opals have won all the matches, although both nations are missing their WNBA stars.

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“It will be a different look at the Olympics but we are very aware that they knocked us out of Tokyo and out of the World Cup,” Opals captain Tess Madgen said.

“Every time we come up against China, there is a rivalry there and I’m really glad we have the wood over them so far.”

The Opals were due to find out who had made the final 12 late on Friday night, with Brondello calling into player meetings in Melbourne from the US where she is finishing club commitments with New York Liberty.

The goal between now and the start of the Olympics how the team can reintegrate their WNBA players, assuming they all make the final roster, who can’t join the team until after July 18 when their US season pauses.

WNBA stars Ezi Magbegor, Sami Whitcomb, Steph Talbot, Rebecca Allen, Alanna Smith, Kristy Wallace and Jade Melbourne are all in the roster mix.

Those selected will join their teammates in Spain for an invitational tournament later this month – with clashes against the host nation and Canada – before the Opals’ Olympics opener against Nigeria on July 29.

There were some nice interactions between some of the players who look likely to be on that plane to Europe with centre Marianna Tolo and teenager Izzy Borlase showing they have a strong understanding.

In the first quarter Borlase worked a perfect pick and roll with the veteran centre working off the screen, faking a move and then throwing an inch-perfect pass to Tolo for a lay-up.

Izzy Borlase makes a layup on Friday night.

Izzy Borlase makes a layup on Friday night.Credit: Getty Images

In the second term, they switched roles with Borlase passing to Tolo and cutting hard to the basket with Tolo passing to her right up the hoop where she finished the basket.

Veteran centre Marianna Tolo, who appears a strong chance to be one of the non-WNBA players in the team, smiled about her interactions with the 19-year-old.

“She challenges all of us even with how young she is,” Tolo said.

“She is so calm and can score and finish and also make those nice passes, so I really enjoyed that connection.”

With AAP

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