American Samoa "TEAM" can't beat New Caledonia
Perhaps American Samoa watched too many AND1 Mix-Tapes because their street ball type play hurt them a lot more than it helped tonight. Usually, a flashy cross-over, no look pass, or dunk attempt ended up in the turnover category. New Caledonia wasn't exceptional in any particular area, but they played as a team which allowed them to hold on to the win.
The game was competitive early as most games have been in the SPG. However, as the first quarter continued it became apparent that American Samoa had next to no team chemistry. Each player on the court could handle the rock, but the players simply didn't know each other's tendencies or style. Blind passes ended up out of bounds or fumbled, and the dramatic dribbles were stolen especially when New Caledonia brought a press mid-way through the first quarter, the unnecessary moves and passes were stolen resulting in a 22-12 deficit for American Samoa.
New Caledonia spent the second quarter distancing themselves from American Samoa with teamwork and hustle. Ironically, the only dunk in the game was by New Caledonia in this quarter as the score grew to 36-18.
The third quarter was more of the same, except mid-way through number 15 from American Samoa began knocking down 3 pointer after 3 pointer. He along with aggressiveness from number 6 brought American Samoa within 11 points in the 3rd quarter. However, the quarter ended with the score being New Caledonia 57 to American Samoa 44.
The fourth quarter was one of the most exciting quarters in the men's competition so far. Number 15 continued his sharp-shooting and inspite of the turnovers and miscues, American Samoa cut the lead to 8. New Caledonia had a batch of bad-shots and mistakes that helped American Samoa up the intensity level and excitement. However, New Caledonia settled down and continued letting the 5 INDIVIDUALS they were playing against beat themselves. New Caledonia went home with the win 70-59.
Hopefully, over the tournament American Samoa can develop some chemistry and a feel for one another because at the moment they are not as strong a TEAM as their individual talents would lead an on-looker to believe.