Launceston Tornadoes 2018 grand final teammates Lauren Mansfield, Lauren Nicholson and Ally Wilson have all been named in the Australian Opals squad.
The trio have been included in the 22-player training group ahead of the women’s 2019 Asia Cup tournament.
The Asian Cup selection will also be a forerunner towards a possible berth in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics squad.
The national selection of Mansfield, Nicholson and Wilson is a boon for the Tornadoes program on the back of the club’s best year since last winning its only title in the 1995 Continental Basketball Association season.
Mansfield, who has elected to remain in Perth at the end of the WNBL season and will not return to Launceston for the winter, made her Asian Cup debut in 2017.
Selectors have showed faith in Mansfield since her return from a series of ankle setbacks dating back to 2016.
The point guard’s numbers have been down sat new club Perth Lynx, shooting more than half on her past two WNBL seasons with 6.47 points per game.
Nicholson and Wilson, who are both yet to sign for the Tornadoes this year, are yet to play for the Opals.
Nicholson has averaged 13.39 points for Adelaide Lightning – almost twice as much as last season – and the 25-year-old has the equal-third highest league three-point percentage.
Wilson’s shock inclusion says a lot for how selectors view her burgeoning game.
The 24-year-old has not appeared for Sydney Uni Flames since late November after suffering a knee injury.
Wilson was averaging 12.6 points per game – her career best in six WNBL seasons – prior to being sidelined.
She had spent nearly 36 minutes a game on court, more than any other player in the WNBL this summer.