The Raiwaqa Basketball Players Association will be hosting an U18 Basketball Tournament for both boys and girls which will run from the 4th May - 8th June 2013. Intersted teams or players looking to join a club is to contact Mereleni Waqairawai on 9337434
FIJI MEN TAKE 5TH PLACE AT OYT
The Fiji men's team played CNMI for 5th place and it was a very tight game throughout. The CNMI team have certainly improved in recent years and while Fiji had a height advantage in Martin Liebregts and Manoa Puamau, they could not dominate over the court as the CNMI players were both very aggressive and quick and caused several turnovers through their defence.
Fiji led at the end of the first quarter by 21 to 15 but CNMI fought back well in the second to go to the half time interval just 1 point down at 33-32. The third quarter was also close with CNMI scoring 17 points to Fiji's 11 and led by 5 points (49-44).
To the Fiji boys credit they managed to get back the lead with just minutes remaining and outscored their opponents in the final quarter by 21 to 14 to win by just one basket at 65 - 63.
Manoa Puamau and Martin Liebregts had a height advantage inside but the double teaming of the CNMI defence countered many of their moves. Jese Sikivou, Josefa Serulagilagi and Orisi Naivalurua were able to control the back of the offence with some good outside scoring.
All the boys contributed and this was a very well balanced team with everyone able to fit immediately into the game when subbed on.
Coach Lai Puamau and assistant coach, Baravi Thaman did an excellent job in using their time-outs and substitutions to great effect. Coach Lai's leadership suggests that he will be a Fiji National Coach of the future.
While the boys were so disappointed not to win their quarter final clash against New Caledonia to advance to the final 4 places, their efforts throughout the week and right up to to the final whistle in the last game earned them the admiration of their supporters and the crowd. Basketball Fiji can be equally as proud of these young men as they can be of the Bronze Medal winning women's team.