SPORTS

Whites Brush Away Tongan Challenge

Fijian Whites edged out Tonga 3-1 in their first game of the Oceania Zonal and World Qualifying Championships at the Vodafone Arena, Suva yesterday. The Fijian men dominated the first
26 Oct 2016 11:50
Whites Brush Away Tongan Challenge
Action between Fiji Whites and Tonga during the Oceania Volleyball Championships at the Vodafone Arena yesterday. Photo: JUSTINE MANNAN

Fijian Whites edged out Tonga 3-1 in their first game of the Oceania Zonal and World Qualifying Championships at the Vodafone Arena, Suva yesterday.

The Fijian men dominated the first set 25- 13. However, Tonga hit back by winning the second set 25-22 but that single win was not enough to help them as they were beaten respectively in the third and fourth sets. 25- 17 and 25- 20.

Speaking to SUNsports, Tongan coach Esafa Latu said they have put the loss behind them as they look to the next game.

“It was a tough game because playing Fiji is always tough but at the first set, my boys were not really into the game,” he said.

“They made up on the second set but there are a lot of things to work for the next game. The team was not really well-prepared due to short of finance. Most of the players were dropped because they did not train so that is why we have these ones,” he said.

Fijian Whites coach Tevita Lewatuitovo said they would be focusing more on their match against New Zealand and the world qualifiers that starts tomorrow.

“The first game is always the hardest. Trying to put together the team that played in the Oceania and there was just a single change. One of the players from the Oceania Championship did not attend training so we had to drop him and we had to get a local boy who is in Quam and then moved on to Palau.”

Lewatuitovo added that they are confident of winning their next game.

“The big one that we are looking at is against New Zealand and the qualifiers for Friday and Saturday where we will give them a run for their money,” he said. The Whites take on Cook Islands today at 5pm at the Vodafone Arena, Suva.

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