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Solomon Islands appoint Eric Malcolm as head coach

Honiara (Solomon Islands) -  Pacific Games Wildcard qualifier, the Solomon Islands has appointed Eric Malcolm as the head coach of the Men's team to the 2019 Pacific Games on July 7-20 in Apia, Samoa.

Malcolm who previously coached the Solomon Islands' historic Women's team in the 2017 Melanesia Cup that produced their first victory in 11 years in international competition will take on the chief bench tactician for the Men's side in the Pacific Games.

"I am extremely honored to be named Head Coach, my first Men's appointment at this level. I've been working with a lot of the boys for quite some time, so I'm proud to now be able to lead them at the Pacific Games," shared Malcolm.

The Solomon Islands Basketball Federation had to apply for the wildcard slot to qualify for the Pacific Games after their fourth-place finish in the 2017 Melanesia Cup.

"The wildcard opportunity is massive for Solomon Islands basketball and it gives 5 on 5 some continuity as our squads continue to build towards participation as the host nation of the 2023 Pacific Games," shared the 40-year old.

With their participation confirmed, Malcolm and his coaching staff buckled down to work with the team to kickstart their preparation for the quadrennial event.

"Preparations consist of 4 sessions a week, which are made up of on court and strength and conditioning work. My assistant coach, Gregory Ramos, and I will sit down with the squad go through some goal-setting," said Malcolm.

"As the wildcard entry it probably takes some of the pressure of expectation off the team, but that doesn't mean we're going to the Pacific Games to just make up the numbers - we want to be as competitive as possible and we're going to give the team every opportunity to perform at their best," he added.

The Solomon Islands will host the 2023 Pacific Games and Malcolm acknowledged that this tournament is a great opportunity for the country to gauge the level of their competitiveness in the region

"The Solomon Islands Pacific Games contingent alone will be around 300 people, so being in Samoa in itself will be a great experience. In terms of match-ups, playing against PNG will no doubt be a big occasion, probably also against Fiji as we have some connections with some of the boys who live and study over there," Malcolm said. "This is only the beginning of the resurgence of Solomon Islands basketball and there are many more good times ahead."