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FIBA Oceania Youth Tournament: recap - Nov 8, 2006

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Guam, a traditional powerhouse of Oceanian basketball, came in Auckland with a lot of newcomers to play in the FIBA Oceania Youth Tournament. Led by experienced players like Andrew Borja and Joseph Blas, the team claimed the 5th place with a 4-2 record.

As usual, Guam was one of the smallest team in the tournament but the guameses are never short on talent. Coach Sid Guzman decided to bring a lot of newcomers to the team and was happy to rely on more experienced like Borja, Blas but also Mike Williams. Williams played for Palau in the 2006 Microgames but he was elligible to play for Guam thanks to his american heritage and because the Microgames are not held by the FIBA. Borja and Blas also were playing with the senior NT in these Microgames and their experience really was a major advantage for the team. Guam managed to secure the pool second place behind Australia but the team lost its quarterfinal contest against New Caledonia en-route to the Bronze medal.
Borja and Blas scored more than half of the team's points and the starting five (Broja, Blas, Williams, Martinez, Charfauros) scored 87% of the team's points. Depth has been an issue for the coaches but the biggest issues was as usual the lack of size. Guam was able to overcome that with a great running game and great shooters. Mike Williams is a great shooter but Jude Martinez, one of the newcomers, really made a great tournament and came out as the team's third best scorer. The coach Sid Guzman did a good job with its roster and was awarded the coaching position in the Oceania All-Star Team.
Guam ended at the fifth place, a logical result. The team is lightyears away from being able to compete against Australia and New Zealand but Guam is on the same level as Tahiti and Fiji, trying to defeat the best small Pacific nation: New Caledonia. In the South Pacific Games in 2007 in Samoa, Guam might send some of the U20 players to get the Gold medal. And maybe someday, a kid from Guam would grow taller than 205cm...

Guam - Australia: 59-100
A tough game to start this tournament against the mighty australian squad. The undersized guameses tried to play their game but the australian domination in the paint was to much to overcome.
Stats: Joseph Blas 13pts 6/15FG 8rbs, Jude Martinez 11pts 4/8FG, Andrew Borja 8pts 4/14FG

Guam - American Samoa: 102-83
With this victory, Guam is sure to avoid the pool's last spot and a potential quarterfinal against New Zealand. Joseph Blas was the team leader in the crucial moment and scored 29pts.
Stats: Joseph Blas 29pts 8/19FG 14rbs 5st, Jude Martinez 18pts 7/14FG, Andrew Borja 17pts 8/17FG

Guam - Tahiti: 76-70
A very close game for the pool's second phase and Guam was able to come out with a 6-point win thanks to the experienced Andrew Borja. Borja made a quiet start in this pool phase and recorded 32pts in this last contest.
Stats: Andrew Borja 32pts 13/23FG 9rbs, Roque Charfauros 17pts 8/18FG 5rbs 6ast, Joseph Blas 15pts 4/13FG 8rbs

Pool Standing:
1- Australia 3-0
2- Guam 2-1
3- Tahiti 1-2
4- American Samoa 0-3

Guam - New Caledonia: 63-75
The undersized guameses were unable to stop a solid caledonian team en-route to the Bronze medal despite a 23-point effort from Borja.
Stats: Andrew Borja 23pts 10/21FG 6rbs, Joseph Blas 17pts 4/14FG 6rbs, Jude Martinez 13pts 5/17FG

Classification game:
Guam - American Samoa: 72-63
As usual Guam was dominated in the paint (43rbs to 57) but they managed to secure quite an easy win over the unexperienced american samoan side.
Stats: Joseph Blas 20pts 7/18FG 10rbs, Andrew Borja 16pts 8/19FG 11  

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