New Caledonia Topple Fiji in Thriller

Just two points seperated New Caledonia from Fiji at the end of 40 minutes of puslating basketball action at the Palau National Gymnasium on Tuesda. New Caledonia lead the competition as the only undefeated team after their low scoring 48-46 win.

After looking to have the edge over Fiji in the early stages of the match, Fiji fought back to take a half time lead. In a game punctuated by almost impenetrable defense from both teams, New Caledonia's Benoit Weber (11 points, 3 rebounds), Fabrice Chaliot (10 points, 4 rebounds) and Lorenzo Subiramas (9 points, 6 rebounds) managed to find the net, while for Fiji Leonard Whippy (11 points, 6 rebounds) and Sakiusa Rokodi (10 points) led the attack. Ioane Naivalura pulled down ten rebounds.

In a low scoring second half, New Caledonia pegged away at Fiji's lead, eventually hitting the front half way through the term and restricting Fiji's ability to score through some strong defensive play. Fiji didn't score until eight minutes in, and looked unable to penetrate the New Caledonia defense.

Fiji rallied however, fighting back to level the score late in the final quarter. When New Caledonia broke away to a five point lead in the final minutes, it proved enough to secure the 48-26 victory.

In the other mens match on day two of the South Pacific mini Games, Papua New Guinea defeated the Marshall Islands 96-72. Bernard Elavo was dominant for PNG with 26 points, including seven from seven attempted three-pointers. Roy Gime played well with 15 points.

For the Marshall Islands, Bolear Bokna (16 points), Wayne Anjain (15) and Jotai Jotai (14) top scored.

Schedule for Wednesday 27 July 2005:

11:00am FSM v New Caledonia
1:00pm PNG v Solomon Islands
5:00pm Fiji v Palau

3:00pm Solomon Islands v FSM
7:00pm Guam v Palau



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