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Samoan Girls To Face New Zealand

  The Samoa Under-18 girls team have booked a spot in the semi-finals against New Zealand in the FIBA U18 Oceania Championship at the Vodafone Arena in Suva tomorrow. The
08 Dec 2016 11:00
Samoan Girls To Face New Zealand
Samoa and Tahiti U18 womens basketball team at the Vodafone Arena yesterday.Photo:Vilimoni Vaganalau.

 

The Samoa Under-18 girls team have booked a spot in the semi-finals against New Zealand in the FIBA U18 Oceania Championship at the Vodafone Arena in Suva tomorrow.

The Samoans qualified after thrashing Tahiti 89-39 yesterday.

Samoan coach Stephen Mark Hettig said playing against New Zealand would be like climbing Mount Everest for the team.

“I have always told the girls that to be the best, we have to play the best and we are just privileged to play two of the top teams in the Oceania which is Australia and New Zealand,” Hettig said.

“It is not often you turn-up to a tournament and you play them both, it is good for our development and so we are happy. I think Australia and New Zealand are always going to be tough, they are a big mountain to climb. I think our goal realistically is to try and beat other island nations, which is a big achievement in itself. One of these days we will meet them in the finals.”

Hettig is proud of his girls who stepped-up and managed to make the semi-finals, which has been a long time coming.

“Compared to two years ago, we came seventh so it is a big jump and it is a huge achievement for the girls,” he said.

“We wanted to make the top four, that was our goal and to play in the semis is a great effort on our part. Samoa is not really known for basketball so to make the top four is a blessing. I am really proud of the girls and what they did. They just worked hard and lasted right to the end and I am really pleased.”

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

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