South Pacific Games in Fiji
Basketball has always had difficulties in the past and present of gathering together both the local and overseas players in time to gel them together into a cohesive unit, and the 2003 South Pacific games was no exception. The initial squad consisted of 5 overseas players and 7 local players. Because of limited preparations all overseas players originally selected did not make the trip including the likes of Jesse Ailuai and Fi’a Junior Gatoloai. However the team contained experience in the likes of 178cm former BYU-Hawaii guard Brandyn Akana and former 198cm forward from Willamette, Cavan Scanlan. Stanley Ooms had basketball experience in New Zealand, while David Fepuleai competed in the 2001 Oceania All-Star tour of Australia. The South Pacific games had late withdrawals in the men's basketball tournament, with the Solomon Islands, Tonga and America Samoa pulling out the last moment. A revised draw took place, with Samoa facing off New Caledonia, Tahiti and Vanuatu. New Caledonia and Tahiti are French territories with good teams and potential contenders for medals in the SPG.
Samoa defeated New Caledonia 75-51
Samoa’s first match against New Caledonia ended up into a comfortable Samoan victory, 75-51. Alesana Alesana top scored for Samoa with 13 points and collected 9 rebounds, while Boyd Lauano scored 7 points and 4 steals.
Tahiti defeated Samoa 57-55
The game between Samoa and Tahiti could have gone to either side at the end of the game. Based teams displayed fast, exciting play throughout the game. Both teams were tied