26 - 29
October 2022
Solomon Islands Women Behind the Scenes
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Solomon Island Women Aim for Podium Finish

SUVA (Fiji) – The FIBA Melanesian Cup 2022 has tipped off after a lapse of five years with the four participating teams excited to be back into competition.

Five years ago at the 2017 Mela Cup, the Solomon Islands women’s team, started its campaign on a high, beating New Caledonia (59-53), before succumbing to Fiji (76-54) and PNG (105-53). A re-match against New Caledonia didn’t produce the same result for the bronze medal match, as the ladies in green went down 60-49.

Placed fourth in the last tournament, the team has set its sight on the podium and hoping for a better finish.

While the challenges brought about by the pandemic have impacted global sports teams differently, recovery to pre-covid status of competition has not been an automatic comeback.

Unfortunately, according to coach Rebby Basia, this has impacted the Solomon Islands Basketball League Competition significantly.  The competition has not resumed since the pandemic, and it took passion and a few local tournaments to select a side to participate at this tournament.

“There is no league, only tournaments which we used to select a side and prepare locally,” Coach Basia said.

Elder sister and 2017 Melanesian Cup All-Star Five member, Joycelyn Basia, reiterates that despite the odds, sheer determination and passion fueled the side to participate at this tournament and prove critics wrong.

“We had a lot of criticism back home, because of no league and we travelled here for the games,” Basia said.  “We just brushed it away and we look forward to participating here.  There hasn’t been any league since 2020, only high school competitions and carnivals.  We just selected girls from the clubs who showed interest and have worked hard.”

The mother of four who is proud to be playing alongside the rookies is excited to be part of a dynamic team and be an inspiration to the younger players. “I’m excited and overjoyed since I’m the eldest player and this team comprises of mostly young players but they get motivated having us play alongside them,” Basia concluded.

The top two teams at the Melanesian Cup will qualify for the 2023 Pacific Games in the Solomon Islands.  The Pacific Games then serves as the official qualifier for the Oceania region to the FIBA Asia Cup Pre-Qualifiers.

FIBA - Finau Vulivuli