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Opals bound for Bengaluru


AUSTRALIA's Opals will be aiming to "go one better" in Bengaluru when they pursue the FIBA Asia Cup in the popular Indian city in September.

In their inaugural Asia Cup appearance in 2017, the Opals lost the Gold Medal match 73-74 to Japan, that championship also played at Bengaluru.

Formerly known as Bangalore, Bengaluru is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka, with a population of more than 10 million.

Japan completed an Asia Cup "threepeat" with its thrilling win over the Aussies, Alanna Smith (below) announcing her arrival as an international with a wonderful debut.

The tournament also was notable for naturalised forward Kelsey Griffin winning MVP honours, along with All Star Five selection.

Division A of the Asia Cup - which features Japan, Australia, China, Korea, Chinese Taipei, New Zealand, Philippines and now India - will be fought out from September 24-29.

In 2017, India beat Kazakhstan in the Division B Final in front of a sell-out crowd in Bengaluru, to win promotion to Division A.

The venue for the Division B Asia Cup tournament has yet to be announced.

Australia's performance in Bengaluru was its first under the direction of coach Sandy Brondello, with her husband Olaf Lange holding the reins while she concluded her WNBA commitments with Phoenix Mercury.

It was the start of the "new era", the Opals subsequently winning Gold at the Commonwealth Games last year, before finishing with the Silver behind the USA at the 2018 FIBA World Cup in Tenerife, Spain.

This year's Asia Cup will be the 28th edition of the event.

The Boomers are the reigning men's FIBA Asia Cup champions.

2017 ASIA CUP ALL STAR FIVE: Manami Fujioka (Japan), Lim YungHui (Korea), Moeko Nagaoka (Japan), Kelsey Griffin (Australia), Li Yueru (China).

Jul 5

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