You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Olympic hurt driving Taylor's last hurrah

AAP logoAAP 4/09/2016 Steve Jancetic

As her banged up body sat iced up in a New York dressing room a million miles from Rio, it was obvious the heartache of the Opals' Olympic capitulation was still weighing heavily on Penny Taylor.

"It was just disappointing because we expect so much more from ourselves and everyone expects more from us," Taylor told AAP in the bowels of Madison Square Garden.

"I feel like we let past Opals, future Opals, down a little it by that result.

"It's upsetting you don't get to right that wrong."

Australia's women basketballers were supposed to challenge the US for Olympic gold, but didn't even make it to the medal round after a shock quarter-final defeat to Serbia.

That it was Taylor's last game in the green and gold only compounded the hurt - the international career of one of Australia's greatest ever basketballers not ending the way she'd hoped.

Now, having also announced that this would be her last season playing professionally, her attention has turned to the WNBA, where her Phoenix Mercury side is in a dogfight to make the playoffs - where she hopes to heal some of the pain.

"It was therapeutic to get back and play again," Taylor said moments after the Mercury went down 92-70 to New York on the weekend.

"I know a little bit about grief and it was up there with that.

"It's been a pretty devastating few weeks really, I don't see it going away any time soon but definitely being able to get back on the court was good for me."

And her Mercury coach, fellow Aussie Sandy Brondello, is hoping to use a little bit of Taylor inspiration to get her Phoenix side - loaded with talent, including US Olympic stars Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner - into the playoffs.

"I keep saying, `let's make this a good last run for Penny," Brondello said.

After winning their first three games back after the Olympic break, the Mercury have now dropped two straight to be seventh in the standings with a 13-16 record and five to play.

The top eight make the playoffs, but only the top four teams get a first round bye - which is a one-game elimination round.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon