Guam and Samoa Advance to Semis
MANGILAO (Guam) – Guam and Samoa have booked their places at the FIBA Under 15 Oceania Championships with convincing wins in the quarter finals.
The first quarter final was a see-sawing affair with Guam eventually prevailing over Papua New Guinea, 102-71.
Nothing separated the teams at quarter time and Papua New Guinea headed into the major break with a five-point lead. Guam fought back in the final half to come away with a win to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Guam was consistent across the board with Lynnwood Baker, Noah Cruz, Troy Dirige, Tristan Hahn and Noah Hernandez all doing their bit to secure spot in the semi-finals.
“We talked about our defense and respecting them as well as boxing out more,” Hernandez said in response to the sluggish start by his team. “Ahead of tomorrow’s semi against New Zealand, we need to communicate more.”
While for Papua New Guinea, Adam Maikai was in fine form to finish with a double-double, 25 points and 10 rebounds supported by Noah Yangomina who did one better, to come away with a triple double, 20 rebounds, 18 points and 12 turnovers.
Samoa muscled their way to a strong victory against Micronesia to book their place in the semi-finals, 99-41.
Tristan Aufai, Bailey Noroa, Rodman Fuaivaa and Nehemiah Suá all contributed to the Samoan win as they now turn their focus to Australia tomorrow.
“It’s a great win, a great feeling, the team is just starting to find our rhythm which is good going into these knock out games,” Suá said. For him personally, “It’s big step up from the last couple of games, I knew I had to be a lot more accurate and better with my shot selection.
“It has been an hour to represent Samoa here, it’s the first time representing my country and for a sport that I love, it’s amazing.”
Semi-finals at the FIBA Under 15 Oceania Championship tip off at University of Guam, Calvo Field House tomorrow with Northern Mariana Islands playing Micronesia at 9am, Australia taking on Samoa at 6pm and New Zealand will be up against Guam at 8:15pm local time.
The FIBA U15 Oceanian Championships serve as qualifiers for the FIBA U16 Asian Championships 2023 with the top two teams going through. The FIBA U15 Oceania Championships will be hosted in Guam from November 21 to November 26 - Follow the event here