The Courier-Mail

Boomers seek Mills, Opals cut Cambage

- NICK SMART

MYSTERY surrounds the availabili­ty of NBA star Patty Mills for the Australian Boomers’ clash with New Zealand at Rod Laver Arena on Saturday.

Basketball Australia is yet to name Dante Exum’s replacemen­t for the Rio Olympics qualifying two-game series.

It’s believed Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis and Mills have spoken on the phone and that an announceme­nt is expected to be made today.

The Boomers squad has had a few days off to recover from its European tour.

Players will regroup tonight before training tomorrow.

The Opals yesterday announced their 12-player team for the two-game series against the Tall Ferns.

As expected, Liz Cambage was not named, with BA sticking to its decision to not select the star after she missed a training camp in favour of attending a music festival.

Cambage was incensed with the decision but has dropped her threat of legal action.

Opals coach Brendan Joyce said deciding on the final lineup was tough, with Aimie Clydesdale, Madeleine Garrick and Elyse Penaluna all missing out despite their efforts in the warm-up series against Japan.

“We’ve selected a group that’s made a huge commitment and also had an impact throughout camps and on tour and who have represente­d themselves well,” Joyce said.

The side includes three players – Sara Blicavs, KatieRae Ebzery and Stephanie Talbot – who only made their Opals debut in May during the team’s tour of Europe.

“The goal is to always try and have a balance – not only for success now but also into the future,” Joyce said.

“It was fairly competitiv­e in spots. There’s always somebody that’s just missing.

“Everybody celebrates the selection of the team but as a coach, you never feel good because you know that you’ve had to tell someone that they’ve just missed out.”

The Opals go into the series with confidence after a 2-1 series win over Japan last month. OPALS TEAM: SUZY BATKOVIC, SARA BLICAVS, NATALIE BURTON, KATIE-RAE EBZERY, LAURA HODGES, RACHEL JARRY, ALICE KUNEK, TESSA LAVEY, TESS MADGEN, STEPHANIE TALBOT, BELINDA SNELL, KELLY WILSON.

 ??  ?? LATE PLEA: Patty Mills.
LATE PLEA: Patty Mills.

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