Newcastle basketballer Katie Ebzery said she's looking forward to a change in Olympic qualification for Tokyo 2020 because it means more international matches with the Opals.
The 29-year-old, who is attending a training camp with the Australian women's squad on the Gold Coast this week, also knows the new road to the Games will be tougher than normal.
The Opals are now classified as part of the Asia Pacific region, not just Oceania, with pre-Olympic tournaments taking place from November to February determining the top 12 nations.
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"It's a significant shift," Ebzery said.
"Four years ago [for the Rio Olympics] we only had a few games against New Zealand ... now we're part of the Asia Pacific region.
"We've never done it this way so it's a bit of a learning process at the same time.
"The best thing, it's helpful playing a lot more international games for the Opals and especially in that tournament style."
Following this initial camp for 2019, the Opals will reconvene in the US in July before contesting the Asia Cup in September.
Ebzery does so as a life member of the WNBL, having been inducted in February after going past the 250-game mark in the national league.
"It was a really nice gesture," she said.
Club wise, Ebzery will remain with the Perth Lynx in 2019-20 for a second WNBL campaign having fallen one step short of the grand final.
"Hopefully we can go one better next year," she said.
Ebzery was named Perth's best defensive player for 2018-19.
Meanwhile, fellow Novocastrian Lara McSpadden has re-signed with the Sydney Flames for 2019-20 after receiving this season's most improved award at the WNBL franchise.
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