Cambage warns of Europe basketball threat

Adrian Warren
Liz Cambage poses with Kerri Pottharst during the launch of the women's T20 World Cup in Sydney

Liz Cambage believes the rise of women's basketball in Europe means the United States won't be Australia's biggest threat at the Tokyo Olympics.

World No.2 Australia will head to France next month for Olympic qualifiers against the host nation, ranked fifth, Brazil (15th) and Puerto Rico (23rd).

The top three teams will book flights to Japan, where Cambage insists the Opals will have one thing on their minds.

"We're going for that number one spot," Cambage said in Sydney on Wednesday.

The only nation ranked above Australia are the United States, who beat them in the 2018 world championship final.

But Cambage isn't immediately concerned about their long-time foes.

"America isn't our biggest threat," she said.

"European basketball is killing it right now. We've got to look out for Spain (ranked third), look out for France... so it's not about the one team."

Cambage, who plays for Chinese team Shanxi Xing Rui Flame, is back in Australia for a month while the league takes a break for the Olympic qualifiers.

"I left the pollution in Beijing a couple of days ago and to come back here, the air quality like this is very scary in Australia," Cambage said at a hazy Bondi beach.

"We're going through a very tough time. But I just love being home and seeing everyone supporting each other at the moment and using their platforms to donate and raise money for those in need right now in Australia.

After finishing the season in China, Cambage will embark upon her second season for the Las Vegas Aces in the WNBA.

Their season will be played either side of the Olympics, which will Cambage's third campaign.

"It's time to lock down and get my body in the best shape and my mind in the best shape and bring home a medal," she said.

"It was a big learning experience for me. I loved being in Vegas. That's my city and home away from home now."