THE OPALS confirmed their standing as one of the world's best teams, beating hosts Turkey 77-44 to win a bronze medal at the world championship in Istanbul.
French-based forward Marianna Tolo stepped up in the absence of big guns Lauren Jackson and Liz Cambage, taking MVP honours after a game-high 21 points and closing out the tournament as Australia's top points scorer.
Tolo was well assisted by Penny Taylor, who capped an outstanding comeback from a serious knee injury with 13 points, five rebounds and nine assists, and Cayla Francis who had 11 points and grabbed five rebounds.
An emotional coach Brendan Joyce said the result was "beyond what I could have thought".
"It's something to remember for the rest of their lives. It's my proudest moment as a coach of the Australian national team," he said.
The USA beat Spain 77-64 in the gold medal game.