SI Team set for tough tournament
ON THE eve of the U19 team's team’s departure from Honiara International Airport, Lifhaus News Desk caught up with coach Bryce Masaea to discuss the team's participation at the FIBA Oceania Under-19 Basketball Championship.
"We acknowledge that we will be competing against very tough teams. We cannot guage how competitive we will be until we have seen the other teams in action." said Coach Masaea.
However, he revealed that the team has a strategy in place and he hopes they will be able to execute this during their games.
"We are using speed and tenacity to counter against what we expect will be bigger players from Australia, Guam, Tahiti and Samoa."
The boys were able to quickly adopt the coach's offensive and defensive scheme. "We had ample time to prepare but the uncertainity surrounding the team's participation really affected the team's morale and commitment to training."
Lifhaus understands that many similar initiatives in the past had fallen through at the very last moment breeding skepticism among the basketball community early on.
"So we are really proud of the fact that we have been able to pull through. Different members of the basketball community really came together to support the teams’ participation. Delmay Nori and Uriel Matanani were instrumental in organizing travel while others supported in printing the team's uniforms and other logistics."
David Topue of SIBF and referees Tommie Daffie and Nicola Pongi accompany the team.
The women's team is lead by coaches Lysa Simeon and Willie Sade.
The girls team will be joined by two US based players, Maya and Nefertiti Van Den Heever who will join the team in Suva.
The men's U19 team is led by Moses Kivo since coach Bryce Masaea was unable to accompany the team due to the change in travel arrangements which may see the team spending longer then anticipated in Suva, Fiji.
The teams return has encountered difficulties due to the ongoing airline saga between Solomon Islands and Fiji, and the influx of returning students from the University of the South Pacific.