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Samoa excited to host 2021 FIBA Polynesian Cup

GOLD COAST (Australia) - FIBA has officially awarded the 2021 FIBA Polynesian Cup hosting rights to Samoa which will take place on 6-10 September 2021.

The Samoa National Basketball Association (SNBA) boasts impressive experience as hosts with the successful events held in the country including the previous "Poly Cup" edition in 2018 and the quadrennial Pacific Games in 2019.

"We feel that we want to continue where we left off from the Pacific Games 2019 with all the locally trained officials we have and as well the amazing facility right there. Also with the experience from the 2018 Poly Cup - we feel we can improve a lot and host another successful Poly Cup," shared SNBA President, Talalalei Pauga.

Pauga shared that the government is encouraging sporting Federations to host more international events in the country which pushed them to bid for the hosting rights to the regional competition.

"We are honored to once again win the right to host and the trust FIBA has on us. The government encouraged us to host more games that involve the Polynesia Region. With the previous events we were able to leave a legacy that helps boost basketball in Samoa," Pauga said.

"These events also help Samoa with our economy with all visitors coming into our country. We will make sure we do our best to host another successful event of basketball," he added.

The 2021 FIBA Polynesian Cup is the qualifier to the 2023 Pacific Games, with the latter serving as the official qualifier to the FIBA Asia Cup Pre-Qualifiers.

Photo: Cooks Islands took home the championship in the inaugural FIBA Women's Polynesian Cup in 2018

FIBA Oceania Executive Director David Crocker shared his appreciation and confidence in Samoa for their dedication and desire to host the regional meet.

"We are confident and delighted to have Samoa host the FIBA Polynesian Cup in 2021. Samoa is one of the fastest developing basketball nations in the region. With their experience in the last couple of years, we are expecting another successful and impressive event next year," he said.

Pauga acknowledged the challenge of hosting duties but stressed on the importance of the national team's performance during the games.

"We want to start our preparation now both for Samoa as the host nation and as well our teams. We want to perform and play well in front of our home crowd. We will review our performances from the last Poly Cup and the Pacific Games - at least we now know where to improve on and we want to start right away so we don't get a repetition of those issues from the past," said Pauga.

Samoa's Men's national team placed sixth and bagged a Silver Medal finish in the 2019 Pacific Games and 2018 FIBA Polynesian Cup respectively while the Women's team were able to take home Bronze Medals in both the 2019 Pacific Games and 2018 FIBA Women's Polynesian Cup.

Tahiti and the Cook Islands won the Gold Medals in the first editions of the FIBA Polynesian Cup and FIBA Women's Polynesian Cup respectively in 2018.