Lauren Jackson’s return couldn’t forestall the Opals from shedding 70-57 to Olympic bronze medallists France of their first sport of the FIBA Ladies’s World Cup.
- Thursday evening’s loss at Sydney’s Qudos Financial institution Area was Australia’s first to France from six World Cup conferences
- It broke a 19-game successful streak within the qualifying spherical of the World Cup courting again to 1994
- The loss leaves the Opals with work to do to progress from Group B, the extra aggressive of the 2 World Cup swimming pools
Thursday evening’s loss at Sydney’s Qudos Financial institution Area was Australia’s first to France from six World Cup conferences and broke a 19-game successful streak within the qualifying spherical of the World Cup courting again to 1994.
The loss leaves the Opals with work to do to progress from Group B, the extra aggressive of the 2 World Cup swimming pools.
Australia’s most adorned feminine basketballer, 41-year-old Jackson made a cameo from the bench in her first aggressive sport for the Opals since saying her worldwide retirement in 2013.
She made her presence felt in defence early on, however had her position diminished within the second half when fellow centre Marianna Tolo started to take the competition on and command extra minutes.
Jackson’s first and solely factors of the sport got here from deep with a minute to play within the first quarter and restored Australia’s lead.
The three-pointer made Jackson solely the third girl to attain 600 factors at World Cups.
After sitting out the third quarter, Jackson got here on and tried to settle her facet’s nerves within the last 4 minutes however the Opals couldn’t reel the French in after they broke away within the second half.
“We’re clearly disenchanted,” Opals coach Sandy Brondello mentioned.
“It isn’t the way in which we wished to start out off.
“[France] performed very bodily. They took us out of a variety of the stuff that we wished to do and we did not reply in the correct manner.”
The ultimate rating maybe didn’t do justice to a good contest — the lead modified seven occasions within the first half.
Opening evening nerves struck each side however Bec Allen stood up early for the Opals and had 11 factors to her identify by the half.
France introduced the higher defensive strain, pouncing on Australia’s lapses to attain extra prolifically from turnovers and decide and roll by means of the paint for simple factors.
The Opals used dimension to their benefit and most well-liked to attain from rebounds however had been left to rue some wayward taking pictures.
The French lifted their depth after half-time however Tolo stored the Opals within the struggle and denied France as they regarded to stretch out to a extra comfy lead within the third quarter.
However led by former first-round WNBA draft decide Gabby Williams, France held their lead by means of the second half by taking pictures extra precisely and muscling up in defence.
“We shot the ball actually poorly,” Brondello mentioned.
“You possibly can’t shoot at 26 per cent [from the field] and count on to win.”
The Opals should end within the high 4 of their six-team pool to advance to the subsequent section of the event.
“We’ll must bounce again, that is how the event type is,” Allen mentioned.
“We have got Mali tomorrow and it should be a complete completely different ball sport to what we skilled immediately.”
Match favourites USA beat Belgium 87-72 in Group A, earlier than Canada’s 67-60 defeat of a fast-finishing Serbia boosted their possibilities of making it by means of the aggressive Group B.
After going by means of their first World Cup winless, Puerto Rico upset Bosnia & Herzegovina 82-58 and surpassed their earlier event high-score of 62 factors by three-quarter time.
China posted probably the most dominant efficiency of the day with a 107-44 thrashing that prolonged South Korea’s World Cup shedding streak to 10 video games.