In July 2013, physiotherapist Paula Peralta from our Penrith rooms joined the Australian Under 19’s women’s basketball team (Gems) and headed to Europe for World Championships. This was the final stages of a 2 year journey with numerous camps and a few tours. The Australian Gems had not medalled in 16 years so it was to be an arduous task.
Our pre-Worlds tournament was held in the Canary Islands, Spain. After a lengthy transit we played the USA, Canada and Spain over a 3 day tournament. We then headed to Klaipeda, Lithuania for the World Championships.
A loss in the rounds to Spain was to cost us dearly resulting in a semi-final crossover against the USA. This was a tough game and we were outplayed. We were then to play Spain in the quest for the bronze medal.
Similar to the USA game, we had a lapse in concentration in the 2nd quarter and found ourselves down by 17 points at the start of the 3rd quarter.
The courage and determination of the girls was inspiring and an amazing team effort by all resulted in a massive comeback; overcoming Spain by 5 points to win the bronze medal!