With buzz and anticipation surrounding the first match, both Papua New Guinea and New Zealand women were keen to start their Youth Pacific Games Tournament with a win.

After finishing second last year to current host nation Australia, New Zealand’s trans-Tasman rivalry made them an early contender to upset the favourites.

New Zealand started off strongly, with imposing physical presence and lightning fast reflexes allowing them to build an early lead.

Persisting with an unrelenting full-court press, the Kiwi’s continued to dominate on both the scoreboard and court.

New Zealand’s strong start and fast reflexes brought them to a half time win with the scores 40-12 to New Zealand.

In a standout performance, New Zealand centre Hanna Tusa recorded a double-double in the statistics (22 points, 13 rebound and 5 steals) to lead the scoring.

Papua New Guinea’s Renagi Fred was a strong stand. With the team looking relatively young and inexperienced up against New Zealand she stood out and made an impact.

Renagi Fred was the highest scorer for the PNG and took the most rebounds (with 7 points and 9 rebounds).

At the end of the third quarter, New Zealand was on 84 to Papua New Guinea’s 17.

Marrina Boino was another one of the players from Papua New Guinea who had a good game. She was highest scorer in the first half but overall by the end was the second highest scorer (2 in the first half, 7 in the second half).

Although looking young Marrina Boino proved to be a strong player for Papua New Guinea.

Boino managed to block the largest New Zealand players at least a head taller than her showing commitment and tenacity.

Kendall Hastie from New Zealand scored two three-pointers during the second half of the game, giving the NZ score a boost.

Papua New Guinea’s determination and strength was visible throughout the whole game but just wasn’t enough to overcome New Zealand’s experienced players.

The match ended with New Zealand winning on 104 and Papua New Guinea trailing behind on 21. New Zealand winning by 83 points.

By Amy Sanderson and Victoria Heard from The Reporters' Academy

FIBA ZONES

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2014 FIBA Calendar

FIBA Central Board Meeting
Barcelona, Spain 1st to 2nd February

FIBA Men's World Cup Draw
Barcelona, Spain 3rd February

FIBA Oceania Office Opening 
Canberra, Australia 28th February

FIBA Oceania Board Meeting
Canberra, Australia 1st to 2nd March

Samoa Basketball Federation
Annual General Meeting March (date to TBC)

FIBA Women's World Cup Draw
Istanbul, Turkey 15th March

FIBA Extraordinary Congress
Istanbul, Turkey 16th March

ONOC Assembly                                          
Guam 2nd to 4th May

FIBA Oceania Congress
Sydney, Australia 9th to 11th May

Basketball New Zealand
Annual General Meeting May 23rd, Wellington

FIBA World Championship for U17 Women               
Bratislava, Slovakia 11th to 20th July

Micronesian Games                                       
Pohnpei, FSM 20th to 29th July

FIBA World Championship for U17 Men                   
UAE - Dubai 8th to 16th August

Youth Olympic Games                                  
Nanjing, China 16th to 28th August

FIBA Congress
Barcelona, Spain 26th to 28th August

World Championship for Men                       
Madrid, Spain 30th August to 14th September

World Championship for Women                   
Istanbul, Turkey 27th September to 5th October

Special Olympics Australia
Melbourne, Australia 20th October to 25th October

Oceania U19 Qualifications for Men & Women
          

Suva, Fiji 1st December to 8th December

        

Micronesian Games Pohnpei July 2014