Fiji’s Colin Lal has sights set high on home soil
SUVA (FIBA U18 Oceania Championships) – The host nation Fiji registered their first victory on day two of competition against a struggling Tahiti. The Fijians led for the majority of the game, which at one point blew out to a 25 point lead. The final score reading 65-49.
Fiji’s Colin Lal was instrumental in the victory with 21 points, 6 boards, 2 assists and 6 steals. Lal has led the way so far for Fiji after another game high scoring performance against Guam on day one.
Speaking to Lal, he expressed his pride in securing the team’s first win in front of the home crowd.
“It’s an honour to play at our home court, winning our first game…I don’t know how to express it, the boys are really happy. It’s our first win, even though we’ve won that battle the war is still not over” shared Lal.
The game was a back and forth affair with the turnover count finishing at 33 for Tahiti and a whopping 35 for Fiji. However Tahiti were unable to convert efficiently on Fiji’s errors, managing only 12 points off turnovers compared to Fiji’s 29.
Lack of efficiency hurt Tahiti throughout the game, converting on only 29.2% of their free-throw opportunities while shooting only 30% from the field.
Colin Lal happy with his team’s performance, is hoping the Fijian’s can take it up to anyone in the tournament.
“The goal in this tournament is to get gold and qualify for the 2017 U19 world championships at Egypt, so that’s our mission right now and we look forward to completing that mission” said Lal.
When asked who he is most looking forward to facing, Lal said without thought “Australia”.
While it will be tough for the Fijian’s to knock off the heavyweights of the championships in Australia & New Zealand. Fiji’s national pride and home crowd advantage will give the team a boost throughout tournament play.
Colin Lal is certainly enjoying wearing his countries’ colours.
“It really means a lot (Lal on representing Fiji), because it’s my first time playing for my country. All I ever wanted was to show my skills out there…and make my country proud.”