OPALS DEBUT: Alanna Smith (pictured in action for the Stanford Cardinal) made her Opals debut in the side's 78-54 win over Korea in the FIBA Asia Cup.
OPALS DEBUT: Alanna Smith (pictured in action for the Stanford Cardinal) made her Opals debut in the side's 78-54 win over Korea in the FIBA Asia Cup. Ron Jenkins

Opals open FIBA Asia Cup with victory

THREE rookies helped the Opals to their first win at the FIBA Asia Cup as a veteran made a much-anticipated return to the international basketball arena.

Alanna Smith, Kelsey Griffin and Lauren Mansfield all made a significant impact in their first game for the Opals as the Australian side beat Korea 78-54 in its opening game of the tournament.

Smith had 13 points and seven boards, while Griffin scored a game-high 15 points and Mansfield chipped in six points, five assists and two steals.

Veteran Belinda Snell, who hasn't played for the Opals since being dropped for the Rio Olympics, led by example with her 11 points and seven rebounds.

A big showing by the Australians at this tournament as the top four teams qualify for the next world championships.

Australia's next outings at the Asia Cup are against the Philippines and Japan.



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