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Cambage's tall order

Date

Courtney Rees

Lauren Jackson may have been a notable absentee from the Opals' first training camp, but even without her the signs are looking positive four months from the Olympics.

The three-time Olympic silver medallists started their campaign for the London Games at the AIS this week with coach Carrie Graf putting her WNBL-based players through their paces.

One of the standouts was the 203cm centre Elizabeth Cambage who is looking to cement her place in the team after another impressive season for Bulleen.

Cambage made her debut for the Opals in 2008 and was a part of the 2010 world championships team, but the lure of her first Olympic Games is shining bright for the 20-year-old.

''It is very exciting but also nerve-wracking at the same time, I just have to get back into shape and be in the best position to be in the team,'' Cambage said.

Jackson is one of the highest-profile basketballers in the world and the centre is hoping to take some of the pressure off during the Games.

The squad was not at full strength for the initial training camp with six overseas-based stars including Jackson, Penny Taylor and former Canberra Capital Natalie Hurst still committed to their European clubs.

The camp was focused on getting a greater understanding of the depth of the WNBL players after the end of the season.

''We had a good look at some of the players that are vying for spots and how they might be part of the campaign now and how they might be part of the future,'' Graf said.

''Part of it is to get a good sense of where some of our key players are at, where some of our emerging talent is and what positions we need back up support in.''

Jackson has already confirmed that she will take her place amongst her Opal teammates for the next camp held at the AIS in May.

Cuts to the initial 24-player squad are expected before the May camp.

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