Spirit trio fly to Europe

Tessa Lavey. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY
Tessa Lavey. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

BENDIGO Spirit's Tessa Lavey, Gabe Richards and Belinda Snell will fly out to Europe on Monday night. 

The trio are a part of the Opals squad which will tour Europe as part of their preparation for the FIBA World Championship next month. 

The Australian team have added WNBL All-Star Gabe Richards to the trip after a dominant performance in Japan last month. 

Richards' inclusion in the team comes as Opals legend Jenni Screen announced her retirement from international basketball. 

Opals head coach Brendan Joyce said this was the time for player to state their case to be a part of the team that will travel to Turkey for the world championships. 

“We’ve had a detailed and thorough preparation to this point, starting all the way back in January, and this is the final opportunity for the players to showcase their talent and desire to be a part of the Opals," he said. 

Joyce said the Opals' defensive efforts in the Japan tour impressed him. 

"The defensive performances were the best I’ve seen in my time with the Opals and that was one of the most pleasing aspects of the tour,” he said.

“We’ve still got around 10 games before we begin our world championship campaign, so to be executing our defensive principals to that standard at this stage of the preparation is a glowing endorsement of the players’ application.”

The Opals' first game will be against the Czech Republic in Pilsen on Saturday before playing two games in Belarus. 

The Australian team will also play games against Canada, Brazil and Turkey. 


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