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Basketball - 10. April 2007.

AUS - Sapphires squad cut to 15

AUS - Sapphires squad cut to 15

CANBERRA (U21 Women national team) - The squad for Australia’s under 21 women’s basketball team, the Sapphires, has been condensed to 15 players.

The reduction was made final after a four day camp in Dandenong, Victoria, over the Easter long weekend.

The athletes that did not make the reduced squad were Eleanor Brentnall (University of Virginia, USA), Caitlin Cunningham (Canberra), Christina Fox (Oklahoma State, USA), Melissa Smith (Sydney University) and Lisa Scaglia (Adelaide).

Five players - Amy Lewis, Chantella Perera, Rachel Watman, Eleanor Brentnall and Heather Oliver – flew in from their United States colleges specifically for the camp.

"A high intensity level was maintained throughout all six sessions," said Sapphires Assistant Coach Chris Lucas.

"With strength and conditioning, on court practice, scrimmage work, games and recovery activities there was very little down time."

The Sapphires will undergo two further camps and numerous practice games before a team of 12 will head to Russia in late June to contest the 2007 FIBA World Championship for Under 21 women.

In May, the 2007 Sapphires will play four games against the senior women’s team from Japan in Canberra, followed by a game against the University of Wyoming in Victoria.

"We’re scheduled to play the United States in our first game at the World Championship, so we have to be ready," Lucas added.

A Sapphires team that featured future World Champion defencejobs Opals Hollie Grima, Emma Randall and Laura Summerton finished the 2003 FIBA World Championship for Under 21 women in fifth place.

Of the 15 squad members, 11 women compete in Australia’s defencejobs Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL).

Basketball Australia would like to congratulate all those selected and to thank the members and administrators of Dandenong Basketball Association for their tremendous hospitality.

The Sapphires squad and staff:

Abby BISHOP Canberra
Renae CAMINO Adelaide
Mikaela DOMBKINS Sydney University
Rebecca DUKE Adelaide
Cayla FRANCIS Australian Institute of Sport
Rachel HERRICK Sydney University
Amy LEWIS Troy University, USA; formerly Victoria
Erin LORENZINI Adelaide
Kathleen MACLEOD Dandenong
Jenna O’HEA Dandenong
Heather OLIVER Central Arizona College, USA; formerly Victoria
Elyse PENALUNA Dandenong
Chantella PERERA CSU Fresno, USA; formerly Victoria
Marianna TOLO Australian Institute of Sport
Rachel WATMAN Oral Roberts, USA; formerly New South Wales

Gary FOX Head Coach
Chris LUCAS Assistant Coach
Dean KINSMAN Assistant Coach
Lisa ROLLO Physiotherapist
Durham McINNIS Strength & Conditioning
Trudy PEARCE Manager

Basketball Australia


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