Day 4 - Men's Qualifying Final - Fiji 88 def Samoa 65

The cheer squads were out in force, as two of the more vocal teams, Samoa and Fiji battled it out in a cross over match.

After a tentative start, Fiji’s tournament standout Seru (16 points, 8 steals) ignited his side with an explosive steal and two fast breaks in succession.

A three-pointer from Samoa’s Ene Togia (20 points) was a spectacular way to take the early lead.

Fiji were the more physically imposing side, with 24 points in the paint in the first half, but Samoa’s sharp shooting from long range proved punishing on the score board, as they kept their noses in front.

Samoa’s lack of strength under the ring caused them the inability to finish and much frustration when met with a wall of Fijian rebounders.

Tempers flared between the two passionate sides, as 24 fouls were committed in the first half alone.

Fiji’s pressure on the ball forced 24 points from turnovers, and they tied the game up 24-all.

Samoa’s frustration showed as a sloppy foul resulted in a three-point play, but the Fijian could not convert the morale boosting play.

Sapeti Tufuga (18 points, 9 rebounds) drained another monster from long range, en route to Samoa’s 4 three-pointers in the first half.

Coming out from half time with a one-point lead, Fiji started the second half with strong play in the post synonymous with the teams tournament tactics.

Despite Fiji’s best efforts to pull away, Samoa had an athletic response, and Tufuga converted a strong three-point play to steady Fiji’s campaign.

With the match hanging in the balance between two highly temperamental teams, and a crowd in full voice, the final quarter promised to entertain.

Samoa stood strong against their favoured opponents, but Fiji remained composed amid the onslaught, with centres Pita Sowakula (21 points, 11 rebounds) and Koyamainavure (17 points, 9 rebounds) putting on powerful displays.

The dying minutes of the match, desperation reigned and each play was adrenaline filled with fast breaks, interceptions and hard fouls (48 fouls for the match).

Both sides reached five team fouls, and the excessive stoppages caused the match to run for more than two hours in sweltering conditions.

Regardless of the lead blowing out to 27 in the final minutes, Samoa’s determination shone through, persisting with a full-court press – earning the respect of the Fijian player’s and crowd.

After 10 lead changes throughout the game, Fiji came out the victors 88-65 in a hard fought match.

Laura Mock – The Reporters’ Academy.


Comment Guidelines: The SportingPulse Network is made up of players, families and passionate sports followers like you who have a strong opinion about sport. That's great - we want you to have your say and share your thoughts with the world. However, we have a few rules that you must follow to keep it fun for all. Please don't be rude, abusive, swear or vilify others. Apart from some pretty serious sport sanctions, we also can ban you and report you if things get out of hand. So play fair and have fun, and thanks for your contribution.



2015 FIBA Calendar


FIBA Agent Licensing Test
Gold Coast, 11th November



FIBA Oceania Congress
Gold Coast, March 18th-20th 

FIBA Agent Licensing Test
Gold Coast, 8th June

FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament
TBA, June 13th-18th

FIBA U17 World Championship for Men & Women
Spain, 22nd June - 3rd July

FIBA  Olympic Qualifying Tournament
TBA, July 5th-10th 

Olympic Basketball Tournament
Rio de Janerio, August 5th-21st 

FIBA U18 Oceania Championships for Men & Women          
December 2016

FIBA Agent Licensing Test
Gold Coast, 9th November


FIBA Oceania Women in Basketball Empowerment Program