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Cook Islands register first win; Fiji sweeps their way to Semis
Apia (Samoa) -- Cook Islands finally registered its first win at the expense of New Caledonia, 89-37 in Day 5 of the 2019 Pacific Games women's basketball.
Motivated by a pair of close setbacks against Fiji (69-71) and Samoa (67-71), Cook Islands was just a team on a mission, breaking the game wide with an immediate 25-10 salvo.
The strong start proved to be enough to tow the Cook Islands to a breakthrough win as it went on to deal New Caledonia the lowest score so far in this year's quadrennial sports conclave in the Pacific.
Alijah Pepe tallied 23 points and two rebounds while Janet Main posted 13 markers, eight boards and six steals for the Cook Islands.
Providing support for the two were Te Araroa Sopoaga and Terai Sadler with 11 and 10 points, respectively as Cook Islands improved to 1-2 in Group A.
Cynderella Fanalupe, meanwhile, served as the only bright spot with 10 points and five rebounds for New Caledonia.
New Caledonia finished the group phase with a 0-3 card after losing to Samoa, 64-106, and Fiji, 40-82.
Meanwhile, reigning champion Fiji gained an outright Semi-Finals berth after completing a group phase sweep with a 65-45 win over host Samoa.
Letava Whippy flirted with a triple-double of 15 points, 12 rebounds and seven steals to lead the way for the unbeaten Fijians who reigned supreme in Group A with a 3-0 card.
Fiji previously defeated the Cook Islands, 71-69, and New Caledonia, 82-40.
Ace gunner Mili Koyamainavure and Kayla Mendez also added 11 each while Vilisi Tavui chipped in 10 markers and 10 boards.
Fiji was just too good for Samoa in almost all departments, keying them to a 20-point win including rebounding (58-47), turnover points (18-8) and inside points (34-18).
The Fijians also limited the Samoans to a 24-percent shooting clip paired with 24 errors.
Meanwhile, Malama Leaupepe was the only player in double digits for Samoa which still ended up in second place of Group A with a 2-1 record following the previous wins over New Caledonia, 104-64, and the Cook Islands, 71-67.