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Guam advance to Final Phase, Australia bounce back
PAPUA NEW GUINEA (FIBA U15 Oceania Championship) - Guam secured their seat in the battle for bronze with a huge 79-51 victory over Fiji in the last day of the Group Phase.
Matthew Santos led the island nation with 14 points while Xander Sanchez poured in 11 points to give Guam their second straight win after starting the tournament, 0-3.
"We're trying to peak at the right time, and today we put in 35 minutes of great basketball if we can clean up that five minutes of mistakes and put together 40 minutes of great basketball we will have a shot at Samoa," said Guam Coach Brent Tipton.
Guam led by as much as 36 points when Matthew Ecijan drilled a triple off an assist from Blaise Ada to extend their lead to 64-28 at the 2:22 mark of the third quarter.
Nalani May led the Fijians with 15 points while Shravan Dayal added 10 points in the loss.
Guam will face Samoa in the battle for bronze today (December 8).
In the second game, New Zealand finished their group phase sweep with a 105-63 victory over Samoa.
Tafara Gapare scored 17 points to lead NZL while Joshua Book added 14 points with Ethan Skelton and Levick Kerr chipping in 11 points apiece.
New Zealand outmuscled Samoa with a massive advantage in the rebounding department, 64-38 including 26-9 in the offensive rebounds.
Moses Bartley led Samoa with 17 points and will face Guam in the battle for Bronze in the Final Phase.
In the last game, Australia dominated host Papua New Guinea with a 121-31 victory.
PNG started strong with Atti Bradley scoring the first eight points for PNG to lead AUS 8-4 at the 6:02 mark of 1Q to the delight of a raucous crowd.
Australia had other plans and unleashed a 25-0 run to close the quarter with a 29-8 advantage and rode the momentum all the way to the win.
James Ingham scattered 21 points while Harry Johnson added points in the win. Matthew Thompson and Harrison Pennisi chipped in 19 points apiece.
Australia's lead ballooned to as much as 90, after Matthew Wacher's triple at with 1:26 left in the game.
Bradley starred for PNG with 12 points while Patien Smare added nine points off the bench.
Australia will face New Zealand in the Gold Medal final while Samoa and Guam will figure in the bronze medal game.