20/04/2024

Australian Opals captain Sami Whitcomb. (Picture: Basketball Australia/Twitter)

Sami Whitcomb's captaincy was on full-display as a star-studded performance by the Opals was too much for Brazil in their first match of the World Cup Qualifiers in Serbia.

Sami Whitcomb’s captaincy was on full-display as a star-studded Opals performance was too much for Brazil.

After leading the Opals team to a FIBA Asia Cup bronze medal, Whitcomb was awarded the national captaincy ahead of the FIBA World Qualifying Tournament in Serbia.

Her leadership did not go unnoticed in a stunning performance on Thursday night, which included the first five points of the game, putting Brazil on the back-foot early. In total she scored 11 points, had four assists, four steals, and two rebounds.

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Whitcomb’s captain at the Perth Lynx, Darcee Garbin had a fantastic game with a strong contribution made up of six points, six rebounds, two steals and two assists in just 14 minutes game time.

Her work both ways on the court was a thorn in the side of Brazil, showing what she is capable of at International level.

Australian Opal Darcee Garbin. (Picture: Perth Lynx/Twitter)

Other standout performances included Bec Allen, with 16 points and six steals as well as Marianna Tolo with her 12 points, four rebounds and four blocks.

Both Allen and Tolo were busy in defence and offence all night, making it hard for Brazil to get momentum going after the Opals blistering start.

Australian Opals star Marianna Tolo (right) (Picture: FIBA Women’s Basketball/Twitter)

The Opals’ performance early would have had Brazil unhappy with its own start, registering its first points for the game after six minutes, with the Opals putting on 11 points themselves.

This remained largely the difference for the entire match, and the Opals registered a 13 point win in a fairly dominant performance.

The shooting percentage was low early for both teams, but the Opals boosted it up to 36.8 per cent from the field and 20.7 per cent from three point range.

It was a sloppy night, and both teams turned the ball over tremendously. While it was 17 turnovers from the Australians, they forced 24 off the Brazilians, scoring 25 points off turnovers.

The Opals have their next game against tournament hosts Serbia early on Sunday morning, followed by Korea late on Sunday evening.

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