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Fiji steps up as South Pacific Games champions - Sep 8, 2007


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Valerie
Nainima
Fiji - American Samoa 70:62
Fiji women's national team kept up with the nation's men basketball team and delivered one more Gold for Fiji. They had to overcome American Samoa in the Final game to grab the title. Fiji entered the Final game with a perfect record of 6 wins and hoped to extend the winning streak for one more encounter. American Samoa meanwhile hoped to revenge for the loss at the preliminary round 62:80. And the Final game met the expectations. It was a tough battle with the outcome unknown till the final minutes. American Samoa looked a bit better at the start of the game and gained a narrow 18:15 lead after the first quarter. Fiji stayed close and managed to cut the deficit by one point at halftime 32:34. The breakthrough for Fiji players came in the third term when they stormed past American Samoa 21:6 and cleared off to a 53:40 distance. However it was far from the victory as American Samoa fought hard to remain in contest. Malia Pritchard connected from afar and Sina Leomiti added another jumper as American Samoa came as close as 5 points late in the game. But Fiji players were deadly from free throw line in the dying stages and sealed the win.
Valerie Nainima (165-G-86) paced Fiji with 29 points and 6 steals. Mickaelar Whippy added 13 points for the winners. Sina Leomiti replied with 12 points and 8 boards for American Samoa. Latoya Marshall had 11 points and 12 boards in a loss.

Fiji: Valerie Nainima 29+6 steals, Mickaelar Whippy 13
American Samoa: Sina Leomiti 12+8 boards, Latoya Marshall 11+12 boards   



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