Last night I went to see the Opals whip USA in the ‘Opals World Challenge’, an international tournament (involving the Opals, US, China and Chinese taipei) leading up to the women’s basketball world championships which are being held in Brazil this coming September. The Opals beat the US team for the first time EVER in an official international tournament!! They won convincingly, leading for a good deal of the game and ended up winning by 11 points (76-65)! Congratulations to Capitals’ players Lauren Jackson (yes i still refer to her thusly!), Tully Bevilaqua, and Jenny Whittle – all played brilliantly. Lauren Jackson was named as the tournament MVP and also in the All-Star 5.
Kudos to Canberrans who went along to watch this historical event – the match was a sellout. AIS stadium was packed out and the entire crowd were screaming their lungs out for the Aussie girls. The US were so cranky that they got beaten! A few tanties were thrown during the game, when they got fouled and especially when Alana Beard (who played for the Capitals last season, it must have been hard for her to have been cheered wildly last time she was in town but this time round zero support) got fouled out – the whole US team congregated on court around her in protest without calling a time out, the crowd booed them and yelled at them to get off the court. LOL!
The head of Basketball Australia declared Canberra “the basketball capital of Australia” in his awards ceremony speech. Yay ACT!