The Tahiti boys ended 6th at the Oceania Youth Tournament 2004 and this really shows the ranking of the country in the Oceania region. Much better than the Cook Islands but also far away from Australia, NZ. Dreaming of a medal, they barely never were a contender in front of Fiji or Guam. Tahiti basketball still got plenty of work to do, but the country is made of several little islands (not like top 5 teams who are all made of one single land) and it's very hard to keep the players together troughout the year.
This U20 squad had two great players, who would certainly be a part of the National team for the years to come, Tehia Maitere and Noel Pico. Maitere was the tournament's 4th leading scorer (18ppg) and Pico was the 3rd best rebounder. But the rest of the team is not made of the same wood. The pool phase started with a surprisingly short victory 67-58 over the Cook Islands, Maitere (24pts) and Pico (17pts) had to score a lot to avoid an embarrasing loss. The second game against New Zealand was harder, the Kiwis are already a better team but with Leon Henry on fire (7/10 from 3pts) there was nothing to do. NZ win 95-36, Pico scored 15pts 9rbs and Maitere 11pts but only 3/14FG due to many double-teamings. In the last game of the pool against Fiji, Tahiti continue to snooze in the first half (20-35). They played better in the second half, that was their best period of all the three games, but they came from to far and Fiji won the game 75-56 thanks to the tournament leading scorer Laisiasa Puamau (26pts). Again Pico (16pts 8/10FG 9rbs) and Maitere (14pts) were the only ones offensives weapons.
Ladder after the pool phase:
1-New Zealand 3-0
4-Cook Islands 0-3
Tahiti faced Guam in the quarterfinal, the most disapointing game of the boys in this tournament. There is more inhabitants in Tahiti than in Guam but the tahitian played like they were against Australia! Of course the Guam squad is great, one of the best in Oceania, but that doesn't explain this 43-90 loss! Noel Pico scored 15pts but a tired Tehia Maitere only added 6pts.
Led by pride, the boys did a great game against Papua New Guinea in the classifications games with a 82-46. Already leading 41-19 at the half, the tahitian really owned the court. Tehia Maitere bounced back with 32pts 11/18FG 16rbs, Pico added 15pts 14rbs. They played versus Caledonia for the 5th place and like all the previous game between the two french territories, it was a close and tough game. Tehia Maitere showed again he was a top-player at Oceania standard with 21pts 11rbs but his teamates were not very helpfull, Teva Rauzy being the only other player who scored in double-figure (10pts 11rbs).
Tahiti men U20 stats:
Tehia Maitere 18.0pts 39.2%FG 25.0%3 65.6%FT 7.2rbs 1.2ast 27min 6gp 32pts vs PNG
Noel Pico 14.5pts 60.4%FG 33.3%FT 8.5rbs 0.2ast 1.0bs 21min 6gp 17pts vs Cook Islands
Jimmy Temorere 5.3pts 36.4%FG 12.5%3 57.1%FT 2.8rbs 1.0ast 26min 6gp 11pts vs Fiji
Mato Tuheiva 5.0pts 21.9%FG 22.2%3 80.0%FT 1.8rbs 0.5ast 22min 6gp 8pts vs Cook Islands
Mairag Temanahamoo 4.7pts 23.7%FG 16.7%3 1.8rbs 1.0ast 17min 6gp 8pts vs Fiji
Teva Rauzy 4.5pts 25.8%FG 69.2%FT 6.2rbs 0.3ast 20min 6gp 10pts vs New Caledonia
Ruarani Tehahe 1.7pts 30.8%FG 100%FT 2.0rbs 10min 6gp 4pts vs<