A trio of Canberra Capitals stars will have just two days to prepare for a WNBL semi-final showdown, but coach Paul Goriss is confident their return will give his squad the spark they need to relaunch their title defence.
Australia's Marianna Tolo, France's Olivia Epoupa and Canada's Kia Nurse will have two resting days before rejoining the Capitals' squad on Friday, having helped their countries qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The Opals, boasting Goriss as an assistant coach, secured their place with wins over Puerto Rico and Brazil a pre-Olympic qualifying tournament in Bourges, while France and Canada swept their pools.
The international trio will now shift their focus to game one of the Capitals' semi-final series against the Melbourne Boomers at the AIS Arena on Sunday.
Goriss has given them two days to overcome their jet-lag before hitting the practice court, confident they'll return 'on top of their game' despite limited preparation time.
"I'm hoping all three have played in some tough series and games in the Olympic qualifiers," Goriss said.
"I think they'll come back better from that experience and at the top of their game. I think for all three playing at that level, it gives you a bit more of a spark and more motivation.
"They'll come back with great confidence, all three played well throughout the series."
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The Opals are on the hunt for redemption having been knocked-out in the quarter-finals by Serbia in Rio, breaking a run of five consecutive Olympic medals.
Four-time Olympian Lauren Jackson believes Australia has the depth and talent to claim gold at this year's Olympics, backing them to topple America for the honours.
"I think everyone in Australia is happy they're back there with another opportunity and I think the girls realise how amazing the international talent is becoming," Jackson said.
"It's been an up and down couple of years for them, but they know where they've got to go and I do think they do have the talent and the experience to get back on the podium and do us proud."
"They've got [Liz Cambage]. If that team can click I think that America are ripe for an upset and I think there's a massive opportunity there for them.
"I definitely believe they can get the gold medal. If they're going to the Olympics thinking anything else I'd be very surprised. I think they're going over there thinking they can win and so they should, they've got the talent."
The Opals finished second at the most recent FIBA World Cup in 2018, winning their pool and beating China and Spain to reach the gold medal match against the United States.
Cambage was the top scorer of the competition with 23.8 points per game, and Goriss hopes the Australians can replicate that form in Tokyo.
"Coming back [to Australia] with two wins and qualifying to the Olympics is huge for us," Goriss said.
"Hopefully we can find some form we had at the World Cup to medal at the Olympics."
The Boomers boast two Australian players in their squad in Cayla George and Ezi Magbegor, with latter scoring 15 points, four rebounds and three assists against Puerto Rico last week.
The Capitals have beaten Melbourne twice so far this season, but the Boomers bounced back to defeat Canberra 107-92 in October.
"It's going to be a tough series as Melbourne have been one of the top-four teams throughout the season," Goriss said.
"They're tough and physical, defensively they play really hard and that's something we have to figure out, a way to loosen up our offence. They'll want to make it a grind game with the physicality they play at.
"We need to find some ways to be able to have our offense a bit more free-flowing than what it's been for the last couple of times we've played against them."
Game one: Canberra Capitals v Melbourne Boomers at AIS Arena, Sunday 5.30pm