The FIBA U19 Women’s World Cup, which will be held in Madrid, Spain from July 15–23, has announced its final 12-player roster for the Australian Under-19 Women’s team, known as the Gems.
The Gems will undoubtedly be hoping to build on this momentum going into the competition after a successful FIBA U18 Asian Championship, where the team defeated China to become the first Australian team to ever win the converted U18 Asian Woman’s Championship.
The team is filled with talent, including Isla Juffermans, who not only brought home a gold medal for New South Wales at the Foot Locker Under-20 National Champs in February, but also took home the Bob Staunton MVP award for the women’s competition.
Ruby Vlahov, a dynamic two-way forward from Western Australia, and Queenslander Jess Petrie, whose father is NBL champion Andrew Vlahov, will be playing alongside Juffermans. Petrie won the Foot Locker Defensive Player award at the same Under-20 Champs.
Nyadiew Puoch and Isobel Borlase, two rising stars, were also chosen for the Gems. The two individuals who were included for the first time in the Opals extended squad on Tuesday for the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup have had a busy week.
Before the World Cup, which starts on Saturday, July 15, the team will travel to Spain on Tuesday, July 4 to take part in a series of friendly games in a four-nation tournament. The Gems’ matches against Spain, France, and the USA will serve as an excellent prelude to the FIBA U19 World Cup.
David Herbert, the team’s head coach, expressed his admiration for the athletes at the recent camp and anticipation for what the group can accomplish on the world stage.
“I was very pleased with the talent and standard of play at our recent U19 World Cup selection camp,” Herbert said.
“All players engaged in fierce competition and displayed maturity beyond their years to learn the Australian style of play that was used.
“The team has the potential to come together and challenge for the FIBA U19 World Cup and if they play with a selfless, team-first mentality and come together, which I know they can, they have the ability to really make an impact at this event,” he added.
Prior to competing in the round of 16, the Australian team faces off against Spain, Argentina, and France in the pool rounds.