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"Podium finish is the goal" for Cynderella Fanalupe and New Caledonia
SUVA (FIBA U18 Women’s Oceania Championship 2016) – New Caledonia wrapped up first round play on day three of the tournament with a 58-26 win over Guam. Cynderella Fanalupe led the game in scoring with 16 points and 10 boards. The win means that New Caledonia finish group play with a 2-1 record and will advance to the division A semi-finals against Australia on Friday.
Speaking with Fanalupe, she expressed her delight with the win.
“We were really hungry for the win today. We wanted to get off to a good start and go from there,” said Fanalupe.
The New Caledonian team have become a tight-knit group throughout the tournament.
“A good team means that everyone is playing together. We are all together right now.”
Fanalupe has had a successful tournament to date, including 12 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals on day one of competition against Papua New Guinea. The centre has led the way so far for New Caledonia, and has played a large role in helping the team achieve one of their pre-tournament goals.
“We wanted to play in the division A semi-finals,” shared Fanalupe.
New Caledonia now face Australia in the semi-finals on Friday. Earlier this year the Australian’s won the FIBA U17 World Championship. Meaning that the Aussie’s will go into Friday’s game as heavy favourites. However Fanalupe and New Caledonia are still aiming for a podium finish.
“Our aim is to win the Bronze medal, we’re going to try to play hard basketball and do our country proud.”
After qualifying for division A, a spot on the podium is there for the taking.
New Caledonia next take on Australia in the division A semi-final on Friday at 2pm Fiji time. Stream the game live on FIBA’s YouTube channel.