Opals coast to 105-34 win over the Philippines in FIBA Asia Cup

The Opals have cruised to a 105-34 win over the Philippines in their women's Asia Cup opener.

The Opals have cruised to a 105-34 win over the Philippines in their women's Asia Cup opener. Photo: AAP

Australia has made an impressive start to their FIBA women’s Asia Cup basketball campaign with a massive 105-34 win over the Philippines in Sydney.

Despite fielding just three of the squad that won a bronze medal at last year’s World Cup at the same venue, the Opals displayed their depth with a dominant performance against undersized opposition.

The Philippines shot just 19 per cent from the field and were held to seven points or less in three of the four quarters.

They were monstered on the boards 64-22, and notched just three assists to Australia’s 31.

“We haven’t had a lot of time, together so to be able to put that sort of performance together straight off to start the tournament, I’m really proud of the girls,” Opals coach Shannon Seebohm said.

The Opals spread their scoring load with Darcee Garbin (18 points in as many minutes) and Lauren Scherf (17 in 21) scoring inside and outside.

Chloe Bibby added 11 and fellow debutante Chantel Horvat tallied 10, as did Kelly Froling and Alice Kunek

All 12 Opals got on the scoresheet, with Seebohm blooding all three of his debutantes, Bibby, Horvat and Amy Atwell, before halftime.

Australia shot 52 per cent from the field and Duke University guard Vanessa de Jesus was the only Philippines player to generate offence for her team scoring 18 at 58 per cent from the field .

None of her teammates made more than one field goal and between them scored from just 10 of 50 tries.

Sparked by Garbin’s eight points and four boards inside the first five minutes, Australia galloped to a 16-2 lead on the back of a 14-0 run.

A run of 20 unanswered points either side of quarter-time, when Australia led 30-7, propelled the host nation to a 36-7 advantage.

The Philippines’ only passage of joy came in the second quarter when guard de Jesus poured in 11 points In a 13-2 run that got the deficit down to 18.

The Australians reasserted themselves for the remainder of the quarter, enjoying an 18-3 advantage to lead 56-23 at the half.

The Opals continued to dominate in the second half, scoring 15 of the first 16 points to expand their lead to 47.

Australia didn’t overlook its defensive duties, with the Philippines taking seven minutes to hit their first field goal of the third quarter and down by 50 at three-quarter time, ultimately losing by 71.

Also in Australia’s group, champions Japan commenced their quest for a sixth straight Asia Cup title with a 94-53 win over Taiwan.

In group B, New Zealand squandered a 23-point first-half lead, but Penina Davidson capped a 24-point, 10 rebound game with the winning basket 25 seconds from the end in the Tall Ferns 66-64 win over higher-ranked South Korea.

World ranked No.2 China swamped Lebanon 80-44 in the other group B clash taking control with a 22-2 third quarter.

Australia plays Taiwan on Tuesday.

Topics: Opals
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