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Basketball - 27. June 2007.

AUS - Sapphires win Pre-World Championships tournament

CANBERRA (FIBA U21 World Championship) - The Australian U21 Women basketball team, the Sapphires, won the Four-Nation Pre-World Championship Tournament in Spain over the weekend, winning all of their three games.

The Sapphires recorded powerful wins over China, 93-52, Brazil, 94-77, and a gritty 75-68 victory over host nation Spain.

The Sapphires used the tournament to prepare for FIBA U21 World Championship which begins on June 29 in Moscow, Russia

The Sapphires are in Group A alongside recent victims Brazil and Spain as well as Team USA, Hungary and Japan.

They begin their World Championship campaign against Team USA on Friday, June 29 followed by games against Hungary, Spain, Japan and Brazil prior to the finals.

Wollongong born Adelaide Lightning guard Renae Camino was awarded the leading tournament point scorer trophy after tallying 56 points, an 18.7 average.

"The team continues to show improvement week by week and will keep on working hard to get better," Head Coach Gary Fox said.

"We played China a month ago and we beat them by 8 so coming off a very lengthy flight it was a great effort from our girls to get such a decisive win.

"Whilst the team struggled to get defensive stops and were troubled by the Brazilians athletic ability that was another good win for the team."

Against China, Camino scored a game high 26 points while Chantella Perera (University of Fresno) added 16 points and Kathleen MacLeod (Bendigo Spirit) contributed 10 points and 7 assists.

Against Brazil, Camino again scored a game high 23 points with Bendigo Spirit duo Jenna O’Hea and MacLeod scoring 18 points and 12 points respectively.

In the final game against Spain O'Hea top scored for the Sapphires with 16 points while 2006/07 defencejobs WNBL Rookie of the Year Cayla Francis added 10 points in support.

FIBA U21 World Championship team:
Rebecca DUKE
Kathleen MACLEOD
Jenna O’HEA
Heather OLIVER
Chantella PERERA

Head Coach: Gary Fox
Assistant Coach: Chris Lucas
Assistant Coach: Dean Kinsman
Manager: Trudy Pearce
Physiotherapist: Lisa Rollo
Doctor: Dr. Sandra Mejak

Basketball Australia
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