LIVE: Australia’s Opals wish to get their ladies’s basketball medal hopes again on observe in opposition to China after a surprising first-up defeat to Belgium.
The Opals had been overrun within the remaining quarter as world quantity six Belgium racked up 31 factors to complete 85-70 winners within the opening group stage recreation.
The world quantity two Australian aspect led by a degree after three quarters earlier than their late collapse.
Now, they face a China aspect in red-hot type after smashing debutants Puerto Rico 97-55 of their first recreation.
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Belgium subsequently beat Puerto Rico 87-52 earlier on Friday night time. Australia can be assured of beating Puerto Rico of their remaining group stage recreation – which might doubtless guide a spot within the quarter-finals as one of many two greatest third-place groups within the competitors.
Meaning victory over China can be a large step in the direction of reaching Australia’s desires of a first-ever Olympic gold medal, after touchdown on the rostrum 5 instances in a row between 2000 and 2012.
And ending as one of many high two groups – quite than as a third-place crew – would imply Australia earns a neater opponent within the quarter-finals.
With Liz Cambage absent, Ezi Magbegor led the best way for the Opals in opposition to Belgium with 20 factors and eight rebounds, and might want to placed on one other starring efficiency in opposition to China.
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