By David Nagel
Former Dandenong Rangers star Sarah Blicavs is currently lining up for the Australian Opals as the women’s national team ramps up preparations for this year’s World Cup with a three-game friendly series against Japan.
The FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 will be held at Sydney Olympic Park from Thursday, 22 September to Saturday, 1 October.
The Australian Opals team that’ll hit the court for this week’s series of friendlies is made up entirely of NBL1 players.
Blicavs, who now plies her trade for Geelong, was a member of Australia’s Tokyo Olympics squad that was eliminated from the tournament at the quarter-final stage by the USA.
The Opals began their three-game series against Japan at the Quaycentre in Sydney last night, Friday 27 May, with game two taking place tomorrow, Sunday 29 May.
The series wraps up at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre on Tuesday 31 May.
Excitement is building rapidly for this year’s World Cup.
Returning to local shores for the first time since Australia hosted in 1994, FIBA’s flagship women’s event will see 12 powerhouse basketball nations compete in 38 games across 10 days of action, all vying for the coveted World title.
The Opals, who are automatic qualifiers alongside rivals Team USA, have medalled in five of the last six World Cups, including a gold medal in 2006.
AUSTRALIAN OPALS SQUAD – SERIES AGAINST JAPAN
Sara Blicavs (Geelong)
Bec Cole (Waverley)
Keely Froling (Launceston)
Darcee Garbin (Frankston)
Cayla George (Cairns)
Shyla Heal (Northside)
Jade Melbourne (Ballarat)
Tess Madgen (Bendigo)
Lauren Nicholson (Sutherland)
Steph Reid (Townsville)
Maddi Rocci (USC)
Lauren Scherf (Kilsyth)