Abbey Wehrung's brilliant season with the Bendigo Braves at NBL1 level has caught the eye of Opals selectors.
Wehrung has been named in the Opals' squad of 21 players for the FIBA Women's Asia Cup to be held in Amman, Jordan next month.
Wehrung is averaging 18 points, five rebounds and four assists per game for the Braves in 2021, including seven-straight matches of 15 points or more.
Wehrung is one of 15 players set to make their Opals debut at the tournament.
Another rookie is new Bendigo Spirit signing Anneli Maley, who has also enjoyed a standout season at NBL1 level.
Maley is averaging an astonishing 24 rebounds per game at NBL1 level. She's also averaging 17 points and more than three assists per match.
The Opals finished second at the 2017 Asia Cup and third in 2019, with its biggest challenge to come from Japan and China.
Several of the Opals squad members that played at the recent Tokyo Olympics have decided to skip the tournament.
"The Asia Cup gives us the opportunity to gain critical international experience for our players,'' the Opals' coach for the tournament Paul Goriss said.
"The competition is tough and will provide us with an opportunity to evaluate our players in an international tournament.
"I have no doubt we will see the best these players have to offer when they put on the green and gold.
"We won't have much preparation time so we will rely on good chemistry, a team focus on defence and playing hard with our energy and effort."
Opals head coach Sandy Brondello said the Asia Cup was an opportunity for younger players to stamp themselves as international players.
"We have a great opportunity over the next 12 months to re-set and build towards a home World Cup next September and I am really excited about this squad and the opportunities in front of us," she said.
"It is no secret that we were disappointed with our results in Tokyo, we have taken many learnings from this experience and whilst there can be many reasons for this, there is no doubt that our limited preparation and lack of international competition impacted our preparation and performance."
"This is a great opportunity for this group of Opals to gain valuable international exposure and experience and I am really looking forward to working with this squad in the lead-up to the World Cup in Sydney next year".
Opals squad for Asia Cup: Rebecca Allen, Alice Kunek, Jazmin Shelley, Alanna Smith, Samantha Whitcomb, Keely Froling, Darcee Garbin, Lauren Scherf, Alexandra Sharp, Lauren Nicholson, Madison Rocci, Jade Melbourne, Shaneice Swain, Zitina Aokuso, Megan McKay, Kirsty Wallace, Abigail Wehrung, Tiana Mangakahia, Anneli Maley, Alex Wilson, Chelsea Brooke.
The tournament runs from September 26 to October 3 in Jordan.
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