The Greeks had shown some decent form in fighting losses against the United States and France in the opening round, but put in a dreadful effort against a rampant Australian side keen to stamp their authority on the tournament.


Lauren Jackson was back to her usual self after a slow start to the tournament, finishing with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Liz Cambage also found plenty of space against the undersized Greeks to add 20 points and six boards of her own.

Zoi Dimitrakou and Styliani Kaltsidou led the way with 10 points each for the disappointing Greek side.

Two of coach Carrie Graf’s pre-match messages were to dominate the boards and to stifle Greek captain Evanthia Maltsi, who entered the game averaging a tournament-high 23.3 points.

And the Opals responded by holding Maltsi to just nine points on 3-of-7 shooting and totally dominating a lopsided rebound count 58-22.

The starting group of Jackson, Cambage, Penny Taylor, Belinda Snell and Kristi Harrower also had extended court time together as they warm-up for some tough games ahead, including Wednesday’s clash with the United States.

“For us it’s still about building momentum in the tournament,” Graf said afterwards.

“But it was good to get our core starting group playing a chunk of minutes together.

“We also had a big focus on trying to limit Maltsi and I think we did a good job with that.”

Australia made a breathtaking start, suffocating Greece when they were in possession and sticking perfectly to their game plan to vault to a 25-5 lead seven minutes into the first quarter.

It seemed Australia were going to ring up a cricket score, but Greece’s reserves managed to drag them back into the contest, producing a 10-2 run to end the opening term trailing 27-15.

It was only a temporary respite, however, with the Opals immediately re-asserting their dominance with another outstanding start to the second quarter.

With Jackson heavily involved, Australia outscored the Europeans 15-3 to surge ahead and reach halftime leading 56-24.

From there the outcome was a formality, with the Opals eventually producing their highest score of the tournament and achieving the goal of holding Greece under 60 points.

“For us it was definitely a difficult game from the beginning,” Kaltsidou said.

“We played against one of the best teams in the world. It was the first time we’ve had that kind of experience.

“We tried but we knew it would be very, very hard for us.

“Now we want to win the game against Canada (on Tuesday).”

Australia next play France at 6pm on Tuesday (0200 AEST Wed).