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Saints on track to defend title - Apr 23, 2011

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Defending champions Saints and Wed C look set to defend their status as the two top basketball clubs in the country later this afternoon at the Vodafone arena as the Easter Basketball tournament comes to an end.
With national reps Jese Sikivou and last years Most Valuable Player Adrian Bossely, the Saints this morning defeated Mighty Mights 59-32 in the second schedule quarter final.
There quarterfinal win has poised for a semi-final date with the Barbarians who defeated Vikings the only Western team to make it to the knock-out round stages in a cliff hanger 39-36.
The second seeded team from the Suva/Laucala Basketball Association Barbarians with the likes of Gary Seaman, Travis Finseth, Nash Wiggins, Sikeli Mara, Laisiasa Puamua and Randall Kamea are expected to give the Saints a tough game come the semis.
Basketball Fiji development officer Laisiasa Puamau said the tournament has been a step up compared to the rest.
This years tournament has seen many improvements from hosting it to the level of competition seen on the courts today and yesterday, he said.
The public and basketball enthusiasts have been treated to a fiesta since yesterday relishing on fast paced intense games.
The third mens quarterfinal this morning saw the Namadi based Idaman book there place in the semi-final after they defeated the MacPacers in a nail bitter 43-42.
Idaman will now face Warriors after they defeated Boston 41-36 another Raiwaqa affiliated team.
The womens division will see defending champions Wed C take on Sparks.
The all Raiwaqa based affiliated semi-finals saw Wed C defeat Golden Bati 42-24 whilst Sparks outclasses Police 37-31.
Puamau told Fijilive the tournament was has been interesting with younger basketballers were playing against some of the old horses of the five game or national reps.
It is really great and exciting to see some youths who have been through the program to be finally mixing it in with our senior players.
I mean you have some of these balers playing against former or current national squad members, he added.
Also, the basketball development officer added that setting up such a tournament is no easy task.
5,000 was not much to run this event but we were able to use what we just have and its a success and it couldnt have been possible without the generosity of sponsors.
Apart from the technical glitch with one of the electronic score boards we were able to run things smoothly, Puamau added.
The basketball tournament will conclude this evening with an awards night where the winner for the mens division will walk away with $1,000 and the womens $800.

Courtesy of Fiji Live   

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