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Basketball - 25. June 2008.

AUS/RUS – Opals beat Russia in first of three friendlies

BRUNICO (Olympics) - Australia beat Russia 65-61 at the weekend in Brunico, Italy, with some of the leading stars in both teams taking part in the friendly.

The Aussies, who defeated Russia in the final of the 2006 FIBA World Championship for Women, got 10 points apiece from Suzy Batkovic, Laura Summerton and Belinda Snell while point guard Kristi Harrower excelled.

Ilona Korstin, Marina Karpunina and Irina Osipova all played for the Russians.

"Russia is a class team and it is always a significant challenge anytime we play them," Australia coach Jan Stirling said.

“Our focus is on improvement and ensuring we are working as a group and these three games will be important for our process."

Russia’s Karpunina led all scorers with 12 points.

The two sides also play on Monday and Tuesday.


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