'Fitter than ever': Opals coach warns rivals of Jackson

Opals stand-in coach Cheryl Chambers has warned rivals Lauren Jackson is fitter than ever as the Australian basketball great closes in on a fifth Olympics.

Jackson has emerged from retirement to chase Olympic gold and took another step towards Paris with a solid showing in the Opals' 94-66 thrashing of China in Melbourne on Wednesday night.

The 43-year-old's stat line - 13 points, three rebounds, two steals and one assist - wasn't remarkable in a game that will help shape Australia's final 12-player Games squad.

But the fact she spent more than 21 minutes on court, which was only marginally bettered by two teammates, was a more significant pointer to her preparation for Paris.

Jackson is set to feature heavily again when the Opals round out the China series on Friday night.

"I think she's the fittest she's ever been ... it's crazy," Chambers said after Wednesday's big win.

"Our fitness guy is saying that she's sending these things through that are just unbelievable that she's been doing.

"And I guess she has to be, I mean, age is not on her side.

"She's got some awesome skills and to keep her body going she needs to be that fit.

"Hats off to her to be so disciplined to do it."

Jackson's recovery from serious injuries last year and return to the court after previously announcing her international retirement have inspired her Opals teammates as they chase Olympic glory.

"Loz is incredible with the career she's had and what she's done on the world stage time and time again," guard Alice Kunek said.

"She's someone I've looked up to my whole career, so to be playing alongside her and seeing what she does is an inspiration for me."

Teen guard Isobel Borlase was born in 2004, after Jackson had already claimed the second of four Olympics medals and had four WNBA seasons under her belt.

"I don't think any of us would have imagined that we'd be playing with Lauren (at this stage)," Borlase said.

"She shows it at training, in the gym and out in the game that she's just the best.

"She works hard and she looks after her body, so it's great to look up to."

The Opals are without seven stars who are competing in the WNBA season during the China series.

Ezi Magbegor, Sami Whitcomb, Steph Talbot, Rebecca Allen, Alanna Smith, Kristy Wallace and Jade Melbourne are all in the Games roster mix.

Those selected will join their teammates for camp in Spain this month before the squad heads to Paris.