Opals produced the most impressive performance of the Women’s Basketball World Cup, defeating Serbia 69-54 in Sydney.
- Beck Allen Leads Opal in Scoring but Forced Out of Game in Final Semester
- Opals have a 2-1 win-loss record after three matches.
- They play Canada next Monday
But the victory may have come at a price, with paramedics attending to her after being rescued from court while she struggled to breathe in the final minutes.
Allen was initially off the court in the final quarter with an ankle injury, but a few minutes later he was out of contention for the ball, grabbing his flank and needing an assist again.
Allen led all Opal scorers with 16 points and was one of the best players. Lost 70-57 to France on opening night of the tournament.
Opal and Serbia have developed an unlikely rivalry in recent years.
Serbia denied Opal a sixth consecutive Olympic medal with a quarter-final victory at the Rio Games.
They also defeated Opal on their way to the World Cup after Australia’s Steph Talbot was sent off with an elbow over Jobona Nozic.
There was a lot of emotion in Sunday’s rematch, especially when guard Sami Whitcombe walked off the court in the third quarter with an arm to his face, claiming he had a broken nose.
Opal was determined to beat his rivals this time to keep up in the race to advance out of the competitive Group B.
Opal’s early dominance came down to physical defense as the host nation forced Serbia into five shot-clock violations in the first quarter and held them to 10 points.
Serbia started to fight back in the second quarter, with Yvonne Anderson adding more minutes to finish the first half with 14 points.
Fittingly, Talbot played a key role in Australia’s atonement, limiting them to two points in the second half when Anderson was sent to mark his opponent.
With the ball, Talbot hit a 3-pointer in the second quarter to give the Opals a game-high lead, finishing with 10 points.
Serbia found another strike weapon in Sasa Kad (12 points), but Opal had his own path to get Allen, Marianna Toro and Whitcomb into the basket.
Opals currently have a 2-1 win-loss record.
They can almost certainly avoid a quarter-final matchup against the United States if they win their last two group stage matches against Canada and Japan.
Opal’s first tournament win 118-58 victory over Mali in second match.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-09-25/world-cup-basketball-australia-opals-defeat-serbia/101472694 Australia’s Opals defeated Serbia 69-54 to win the Women’s Basketball World Cup for the second time.