Samoa will be ‘fantastic hosts’ for basketball at the Pacific Games

By Thomas Airey ,

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The Pacific Games will have 16 teams (eight men and eight women) so it’s a significant increase on the Polynesian Cup.

The Pacific Games will have 16 teams (eight men and eight women) so it’s a significant increase on the Polynesian Cup. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

The International Basketball Federation have praised Samoa for their hosting of the FIBA Polynesian Cup last week.

Five men’s and four women’s teams from different countries were in town to play each other at the N.U.S. Gym from Monday to the finals on Saturday.

FIBA Oceania competition manager Amanda Jenkins said Samoa were fantastic hosts.

“There was a great group of volunteers who are eager to learn and were all very on the ball.

“This was the first event the Samoa Basketball Federation (S.B.F.) have hosted since 2007, so every day there was new learnings and the level was raised in terms of the organisation.

“The biggest area for improvement would be in marketing and court ‘dressing’.”

Jenkins said there is now a great core of people to work with moving forward, and S.B.F.’s challenge is to recruit more.

“The Pacific Games will have 16 teams (eight men and eight women) so it’s a significant increase on the Polynesian Cup.

“We will also hold a 3x3 (three players a team halfcourt basketball) event which will provide new opportunities and experiences.

“We also hope this event has encouraged S.B.F. to bid to host youth FIBA Oceania events in the future.”

She said Samoa will be great hosts for the Pacific Games next year.

“Some teams came with small delegations, so we are excited to see how well they can do next year with their full complement of players.

“This is the first event for quite a few of these nations – we were impressed with the quality of the teams and there were some fantastic individual efforts.

Tahiti, Samoa, Tonga and American Samoa’s men’s teams all qualified for the Pacific Games having finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd  and 4th at the Polynesia Cup.

Cook Islands, Tahiti, Samoa and American Samoa finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th on the women’s side to qualify.

Papua New Guinea, Fiji and New Caledonia’s men’s and women’s teams all qualified at last year’s FIBA Melanesian Cup, while Guam qualified by winning the men’s and women’s basketball at the 2018 Micronesian Games.

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