Jayco Opals wrap Euro tour with win over Russia
The Jayco Australian Opals have finished off their European tour on a high note, narrowly beating Russia overnight by two points in Varese, Italy, 74-72, to end the trip with three wins and two losses.
For the Russians, Evgeniia Belyakova top-scored with 13 points, while Liudmila Sapova added 9 points.
After trailing 21-16 at quarter time, the Aussies managed to win every subsequent quarter, holding Russia to 17, 18 and 16 points respectively for the remainder of the game to edge in front late.
Although the Jayco Opals still misfired from three-point territory, connecting on just 3 of 12 attempts, while Russia was an impressive 8 of 17, their two-point field goal percentage improved dramatically from the previous encounter, rising to almost at 50 per cent. Coupled with another solid defensive effort, and the Aussies were able to trim the Russians’ lead at every change before moving past the European powerhouse to record the tight two-point win.
The Jayco Opals were rock-solid from the foul line. Their aggressive attack on the basket allowed them to get to the stripe 26 times, knocking down 21 of them as a group. Russia could only manage 10 of 12, evidence that the Aussies have multiple ways of getting wins on the board coming into their London campaign.
The Jayco Opals now return to Melbourne this week in time for the Farewell Series which tips off this Sunday at Hisense Arena in a double-header clash that will see the Jayco Opals battle Brazil in the first of their three-game series. The Boomers will tackle Greece to tip of their series of games as well.
For more information about the Farewell Series or to buy tickets, visit: www.thefarewellseries.com.au
Jayco Australian Opals 74 (O’Hea 14, Snell 11 points) defeated Russia 72 (Belyakova 13, Sapova 9)