Keen to demonstrate their vast improvements over the tournament, Samoa and New Caledonia battled for 5th and 6th position respectively.
In a statistically similar first half, New Caledonia’s 41 per cent from the field ensured they took full advantage of their opportunities, earning them a 39-29 buffer.
The Samoan girls cheer squad took the floor in the break, in the hope that their male counterparts would provide the entertainment in the second half.
The anticipation of the battle between Samoan centre, Theodore McFarland (12 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks), and New Caledonian big Nicolas Cedare-Wimian (14 points, 7 rebounds) did not disappoint, as both were influential.
Transforming from the overtly physical teams at the start of the week, Samoa and New Caledonia both showed composure and increased effectiveness.
Assists (12 and 14 assists respectively) and teamwork were notable inclusions into both side’s styles, as each constructed play did justice to the potential of all the talented athletes.
As in previous matches, New Caledonia’s sheer size, and complementing physiques from the small and fast Delaunay-Beleville (11 points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals) to athletic tall-forward Loic Meztdorf (22 points and 9 rebounds) made them an imposing opponent.
With Samoa trailing and in foul trouble early in the fourth quarter, two consecutive three-pointers from Ene Togia (15 points) pulled the deficit back to ten.
Tempers flared as McFarland was given an unsportsmanlike foul, followed by Togia, and they recoiled into aggression, prompting the referees to take control.
A roof-raising 4-point play from Delaunay-Belleville ensured an explosive finish from New Caledonia, as they won 86-63.
Laura Mock – The Reporters’ Academy.
Last Modified on 19/02/2013 17:32