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.


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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 6th December


Livestats Training in Suva Fiji