26 June, 2023
02 July
Game Report
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Australia tame Tall Ferns to take bronze again

SYDNEY (Australia) - Host nation Australia claimed their third consecutive bronze medal at the FIBA Women's AsiaCup as they cruised past New Zealand 81-59 to finish their campaign in Sydney on a high.

Replicating their success in the Third Place Games that took place in Bengaluru, India in 2019 and most recently in Amman, Jordan in 2021, the Opals were always on top against their neighbors. 

Turning point:
 New Zealand were just about hanging on when trailing 46-36 midway through the third quarter, but the Opals put their foot on the gas and once they had stretched their lead to 18 points heading into the last period, it was effectively game over.

TCL Player of the Game: There were plenty of contenders with Alice Kunek contributing a team high 19 points and Anneli Maley completing a double-double of 11 points and 11 boards, but Tess Madgen got the nod after leading her team expertly and claiming 14 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals.

Stats Don't Lie: This was a performance full of control from Australia. They only spilled the ball 9 times and that meant just one basket from turnovers for the Tall Ferns. Meanwhile New Zealand failed to fire from the three-point line with just 3 from 20 attempts.

Bottom line: While Australia would have loved to have reached the title game on home soil, this was arguably the most predictable outcome. Considering the roster they had with so many elite ballers missing, a bronze and a place in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments has to be viewed as mission complete. 

Similarly, while New Zealand would have loved to have captured a maiden podium step, they can still sign off with real pride having achieved their highest ever finish and still firmly on the Road to Paris 2024 which gives them something huge to look forward to in February next year. 

They said