08 - 11
February 2024
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Olympic bound: Opals triumph over germany for qualification

BELÉM (Brazil) – The Australian women’s basketball team is going back to the Olympic Games after blowing out Germany, 85-52, Saturday afternoon at Arena Guilherme Paraense in Belém, Brazil.


The Opals improved to 2-0 in the FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament to secure their berth and will round out their slate against Serbia on Sunday. Meanwhile, Germany (1-1) will have to wait for other results to determine whether they need to beat Brazil on Sunday to punch their ticket to Paris 2024.


Turning point: Facing a shorthanded German squad that was missing both Satou Sabally (who suffered a separated shoulder during Thursday’s game) and Nyara Sabally (rest, knee injury), Australia jumped to an 11-2 start and never looked back.

Despite Germany going often to a zone defense and relying heavily on their shooters, they just couldn’t generate enough offense to keep pace with a loaded Australian squad that finished with a 52-19 edge on points from the bench. Germany starting the game just 4/21 from the field led to Australia building what would turn out to be an insurmountable lead.



TCL Player of the Game: Tess Magden led the way for Australia, scoring 13 of her 15 points in the first half as the Opals built a 30-point lead by halftime.


The 33-year-old guard shot 6/8 from the field, including a perfect 3/3 from beyond the arc, and added 6 points and 3 rebounds in just over 17 minutes of action.

Bec Allen (10 points on 4/7 from the field) and Isobel Borlase (10 points and a pair of rebounds) also scored in double digits for Australia.

Stats don’t lie: Australia dominated virtually every facet of the game.

They shot 49.2 from the field and 9/21 from long distance. The Opals won the rebounding battle 43-34, crushed Germany in the paint (40-14) and kept their opponent to just 26.2 from the field on a game where all 12 roster members scored points.

Leonie Fiebich (12 points on 3/11 from the field) was the only German player scoring in double digits.

Bottom line: Australia will participate in their 8th consecutive Olympic Games and 10th overall. They earned 5 consecutive medals between 1996 and 2012 (3 silver, 2 bronze), but lost in the Quarterfinals in both Rio de Janeiro 2016 and Tokyo 2020. Given their recent performances (3rd place at the 2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup), a crop of up-and-coming prospects and some key players returning from injury, they’ll be well-positioned not only to bring home a medal again, but maybe even win their first gold.

Australia's Olympic history

Appearances: 10 - 1984 (5th); 1988 (4th); 1996 (3rd); 2000 (2nd); 2004 (2nd); 2008 (2nd); 2012 (3rd); 2016 (5th); 2020 (8th); 2024
Medals: 5 -🥈(2000, 2004, 2008) 🥉(1996, 2012)

They said: “Obviously we’re happy with the result. The biggest thing for me with the Sabally sisters being out was to not be complacent because that can happen and we had to worry about what we needed to do. I thought in the first half we were locked in. It wasn’t perfect, but we were locked in because we knew that we were qualifying to the Olympics if we won tonight. Happy to get that behind us and not have to go again in Game 3 and have to win that game. I’m happy. I’m not going to critique the game because we got the win. We played in the right way and competed and now we need to put our eyes toward Paris.” – Australia head coach Sandy Brondello.

“Every time we’re on the floor, regardless of who we’re playing, is a moment to build and keep growing. That’s why we value all these times together. So, for us to know that we’re qualified now is special. I haven’t had that experience in 2 games before. This is a lot of stress taken off our shoulders. I’m so happy for Sandy, the coaches and the rest of our team.” – Australia small forward Bec Allen.

“Australia is where we aspire to be. This was a fantastic game for us to be a part of. We haven’t competed against a team of this caliber for a while, and for us to get this (experience), to see where the standards are to be a top team in the world. This was a tremendous amount of learning for us and a great opportunity for us to compete against that level. We’re going to take a lot from this and learn a lot from this moving forward” – Germany head coach Lisa Thomaidis.

“It was a really good test today. The beginning was hard. They came out strong and this is where we need to be better, but we had a really good third quarter and this is what we need to take to get better. We want to be competing with these teams.”

“(The game) was pretty physical, especially in the post, but if you want to compete on this level, you have to be physical and you have to take it. You need to play with it, you have to be strong” – Germany center Luisa Geiselsoder.