U17 Australian women ready for world titles opener
The Under 17 Australian women's national team open their bid for the World Championship on Friday night.
The Australian Under 17 women’s national team will embark upon their world championship campaign when they play their opening pool game in the Netherlands on Friday night. The Under 17 women will take on Spain at 9:30PM AEST on Friday in their first game in Group B.
Australia has been drawn alongside Spain, Brazil, Japan, Netherlands and Turkey in Group B.
Australia has won two of their three lead-up games in Europe, defeating Italy 47-45 and recording a 66-45 victory over Brazil but suffering a 108-53 defeat at the hands of world championship favourites and defending champions, the United States.
The Australian team will be headed by twins Keely and Alicia Froling. The two forwards are the children of four-time WNBL title winner Jenny Froling and Townsville Crocodiles great Shane Froling, and U17 women’s coach Marissa Fillipou says they are just getting better and better.
“Both Keely and Alicia have been brilliant to have in our program. They are versatile athletes and are as tough as they come – they are great competitors and they have an excellent team ethic,” said Fillipou.
“They are from a small town in North Queensland and have really only ever had each other to compete against, so have really relished the opportunity to be a part of the National Team program and have consistently shown improvement over the 18 months of our program."
Fillipou says playing in Group B will be tough.
“I kept a close eye on the draw when it was completed and my first thoughts were that it was a tough line-up for us," she said. "We have the European champions (Spain), the Asian champions (Japan) and the number two team out of the Americas in Brazil, who are coached by one of the greatest players the game has ever seen (Janeth Arcain) so will no doubt be thoroughly well prepared.
“In addition, we have the host nation Netherlands, as well as Turkey who are a great basketball playing nation. So we have enormous respect for every team that we will face in the pool round and will need to be ready to play well in every game.”
Follow the world championship tilt of the Australians on the Under 17 women's homepage on the Basketball Australia website.
Visit the official website of the FIBA U17 World Championship for Women by clicking here.