Aussie Opals Reach Quarter Finals After Fierce Victory
The show goes on!
Heading into their final pool game, the Australian Opals needed to defeat Puerto Rico by 25 points to secure a place in the next round.
After giving up the first eight points of the game, the task seemed all too much for the Opals - but no one told them that!
The national women's side, led by Cayla George and Marianna Tolo, heavily outscored the opposition in the third quarter and opened up a 16-point lead at the final break.
The Opals needed to reach the target after losing their first two tournament games - including a deflating last second loss to China. If the margin fell short, Canada would book a ticket into the knockout stage.
In true Aussie spirit, the women fought to stretch the lead playing as though they were losing. It culminated in a clutch three-point play by George with seconds remaining to extend the lead to 26 points.
With a total score of 96 - it was the highest score for an Opals team at the Olympics since 2008.
George finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists. As Tolo enjoyed one of the best individual performances of the Games, accumulating a remarkable 26 points and 17 rebounds.
“It’s been such a battle to get to this point. There’s been so much going on,” Tolo said.
“Just to fightback in that second half and win it with those two quarters is just unbelievable.”
The quarterfinals begin on August 4, with a random draw confirming powerhouse USA as the Opals' next opponent.
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