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FIBA Oceania Youth Tournament: recap - Oct 28, 2006

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After a Bronze medal in the South Pacific Mini-Games in 2005, Papua New Guinea confirmed its position in the Pacific with a fifth place in the FIBA Oceania Youth Tournament. PNG is the third Pacific country behind New Caledonia and Fiji.

The PNG women is improving fast, the team claimed the Bronze medal by surprise in Palau last summer but the girls proved this achievement wasn't a lone moment. The federation is doing a great job with this team and the New Zealander assistant coach was really impressed by the papuans:
"The island teams are getting better and you get a sense for the great odds they are up against to be here. The Papua New Guinea coaches were saying they have a couple of hundred dialects in their language, so communication is an issue. Some teams are spread over a huge number of islands, so coming together is a logistical nightmare." said Tracy Carpenter
Playing with 6 important players, PNG was mostly carried by Betty Angula and Nape Waka. These two players are still in the making but they are already capable to compete if the senior team. PNG would have been better with the addition of players like Tiata Baldwin (unavailable due to injury) but the players in New Zealand did a good job and will improve the game in the country. Papua New Guinea is not a small country at the Oceania standart but the team must keep improving to be able to defeat teams like Fiji or New Caledonia. See you next year in the South-Pacific Games in Samoa!

Papua New Guinea - Guam: 65-40
PNG defeat Guam, a team who was playing in its first-ever FIBA Oceania major tournament. With this win, the papuans were sure to avoid the pool's last spot. Betty Angula recorded an enormous 22pts 22rbs but she missed many shots (11/29FG) against the smaller fijians.
Stats: Betty Angula 22pts 11/29FG 22rbs 5ast, Nape Waka 18pts 8/19FG 7rbs, Mary Elavo 5pts 2/14FG 9rbs

Papua New Guinea - Australia: 92-31
As expected, PNG was no-match for the all-mighty australian girls. The game was over after a couple of minutes and the papuans should have learnt a lot in this contest.
Stats: Nape Waka 16pts 7/23FG 5rbs 5st, Betty Angula 6pts 2/15FG 8rbs, Marjorie Babia 6pts 3/7FG

Papua New Guinea - Tahiti: 76-65
The team pictured the country's improvement with a brilliant win the secure the pool top-spot. Betty Angula was again dominating in the paint despite many missed shots but the game's MVP was Nape Waka with 21pts 8rbs and 6ast.
Stats: Nape Waka 21pts 10/22FG 8rbs 6st, Betty Angula 18pts 7/25FG 20rbs 8st, Mary Elavo 13pts 5/8FG

Pool Standing:
1- Australia 3-0
2- Papua New Guinea 2-1
3- Tahiti 1-2
4- Guam 0-3

Papua New Guinea - Fiji: 43-59
PNG run toward the country's first ever medal has been stopped by a strong fijian side. In a great defensive game, Fiji hold the papuans to only 10 field-goals in the first three-quarter to start the last period on a 44-25 lead. Nape Waka was the only player able to score (17pts).
Stats: Nape Waka 17pts 7/22FG 4rbs, Bett y Angula 9pts 4/13FG 9rbs, Julie-Anne Diro 6pts 2/10FG 5rbs

Papua New Guinea - Guam: 105-48
A great offensive game for the papuans who wanted to respond after the loss in quarterfinals. The team blasted the guameses and proved that PNG isn't a small team at the Oceania standart anymore. Nape Waka secured the scoring trophy with a tournament's high 38pts.
Stats: Nape Waka 38pts 18/28FG 10rbs 5ast 8st, Julie-Anne Diro 23pts 11/23FG 6rbs, Betty Angula 18pts 7/15FG 13rbs 6st

5th place game:
Papua New Guinea - Tahiti: 87-68
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