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Women's basketball squad trimmed to 14
01:14 AEST Sun May 20 2012

Basketball Australia has named a fourteen-strong squad to continue preparations for the women's tournament at the London Olympics.

Coach Carrie Graf said there were encouraging signs in the first week of their Canberra camp and she looked forward to a second week to develop chemistry with a reduced squad.

"Our veteran players really stood up and led by example, setting the standard in terms of intensity," Graf said in a statement released Saturday night.

"We have some five-on-five stuff scheduled with the AIS Men's team coming up, and having our athletes play together is critical to getting the group understanding each other and playing together.

"Probably the stand-out at this camp was Suzy Batkovic. She came in focussed and really maximised every moment she had on the floor and really led the way from the post.

"Kristi Harrower looked dynamic again and her leadership qualities were really big for us and we're really excited about what those point guards can do as we progress further.

Also in the squad is superstar Lauren Jackson and veteran Belinda Snell, along with rising stars Liz Cambage, Jenna O'Hea, Marianna Tolo and Abby Bishop.

"There are experienced players in this group who have been Olympians before, some who weren't fortunate enough to make the World Championships in 2010," Graf said.

"I was particularly impressed with the job some of those players did coming into this, determined to make a point about their stakes in making this Olympic team.

The next phase of the Opals' AIS camp tips off Monday, with the team training right through until May 30 before a reduced squad departs for Europe.

There will be a series of matches against European teams, including Russia and the Czech Republic, before the squad returns to Australia for a three-game series against Brazil.

Squad: Suzy Batkovic (Adelaide Lightning), Abby Bishop (Adelaide Lightning), Elizabeth Cambage (Bulleen Boomers), Kristi Harrower (Bendigo Spirit), Laura Hodges, nee Summerton (Bracco Geas Sesto, Italy), Lauren Jackson (Ros Casares, Spain), Rachel Jarry (Bulleen Boomers), Kathleen MacLeod (Dandenong Rangers), Jenna O'Hea (Dandenong Rangers), Samantha Richards (Bulleen Boomers), Jennifer Screen (Adelaide Lightning), Belinda Snell (Sydney Uni Flames), Marianna Tolo (Canberra Capitals), Hanna Zavecz (Uniqa Euroleasing Sopron, Hungary)


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