Ropati stars as Samoa take home bronze

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Samoa’s Teneva Ropati delivered a huge performance with 32 points and 17 rebounds.

Samoa’s Teneva Ropati delivered a huge performance with 32 points and 17 rebounds. (Photo: FIBA)

GUAM (FIBA U17 Women’s Oceania Championship 2017) – Samoa has defeated Guam 58-88 to become the FIBA U17 Women’s Oceania
Championship Bronze medalists. Having finished third in the FIBA U18 Women’s Oceania Championship 2016, this is Samoa’s second Bronze medal in two years.

Samoa’s Teneva Ropati delivered a huge performance with 32 points and 17 rebounds.

Ropati attributes their victory to their physical advantage over Guam.

“Before coming to the game, we knew that we would be bigger. We wanted to use our size as much as possible.“

Guam put up a good fight but Samoa recovered from a shaky start to push the lead out to 10 points at quarter time. The lead then quickly grew to 20 in the second, Samoa’s size and power were too much for the host nation.

“At first, we understand them, we weren't focused. We thought we would be able to breeze by them, but that didn’t happen. We got a good growling from our coach and that always gets us to focus.”

Ropati is very proud of the team’s performance and to be bringing a medal back to Samoa.

“I think it’s really cool. Our parents sacrifice a lot and pay a lot of money, especially my dad who has to pay for both me and my twin sister, so it’s a good feeling to have something to bring back home to show our parents that they are recognized.”

Samoa will now progress through to Division B of Asia. This is the first time that Asia and Oceania will compete together in a regional competition. Samoa has now secured their part in history.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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