Bendigo Lady Braves star Carlie Smith to represent Australia at 3x3 Asia Cup

BENDIGO Lady Braves star Carlie Smith will be part of Australia’s four-women team for the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup.

The three-day Asia Cup tournament will be staged in Mongolia from October 27-29.

Smith will be joined in the team by a pair of former Bendigo Spirit players Chantella Perera and Sarah McAppion, and Isabella Bourne.

The 23-year-old averaged 9.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 22 games last season for the Lady Braves, who won the SEABL south conference championship and finished national runners-up.

Smith scored a season-high 23 points in the Lady Braves opening night win over defending champions Dandenong Rangers and was a key element in the team advancing to the national final.

Perera, who spent the championship-winning 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons with the Spirit, averaged 14.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists with her SEABL club Kilsyth Cobras in 2017.

The 31-year-old this season juggled basketball commitments with playing football with VFL women’s side Box Hill.

McAppion, whose five-game stint with the Spirit in 2015-16 was ended prematurely by injury, had a productive SEABL season for Canberra Capitals Academy and averaged 9.7 points and 2.6 rebounds.

Sixteen-year-old Bourne is the youngest member of the team and spent the SEABL season with the Basketball Australia Centre Of Excellence.

Basketball Australia general manager of high performance Jan Stirling said it was exciting to see the SEABL, “as one of our strongest domestic leagues” providing athletes to represent Australia.

“The skill set package of these athletes was a focus for the selection panel and they are well suited to the 3x3 game,” she said.

Australia starts the Asia Cup tournament in Pool A against Chinese Tapei and Kazakhstan.

The men’s team for ther tournament comprises Owen Odigie (Kilsyth), Lucas Barker (Dandenong Rangers), Andrew Steel (Nunawading) and Darcy Harding (Albury-Wodonga Bandits)