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LADIES BRINGING HOME OCEANIA BRONZE

The Guam U19 women’s team take the Oceania bronze medal with a big win over Tahiti.

U19 Oceania Basketball Championships in Fiji

Day 6 Women’s Bronze Medal Game vs. Tahiti

Outside of Oceania powerhouses Australia and New Zealand, Guam can be considered the best!

Team Guam overcame a double-digit deficit in the third quarter to take down Tahiti 54-48 to win the bronze medal of the U19 Oceania Basketball Championships Saturday afternoon in Suva, Fiji.

Tahiti extended a 31-24 halftime lead out to 40-28 midway through the third quarter. That’s when the challenge came from head coach Eddie Pelkey.

“I challenged the girls’ hearts and pride and reminded them of the thousands of people of our island who are supporting them from afar,” Pelkey said. “They responded to the challenge just as I thought they would, with dignity and an unending desire to succeed.”

Superstar Destiny Castro, who averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds coming into the game, put the team on her shoulders and led a 22-2 outburst that tied the game at 40-40 to end the third quarter and eventually saw the Guam lead bloom to 50-42.

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Tahiti put in one more dash to the finish, trimming that lead to 50-48, but the Guam girls hung on for the bronze.

“I couldn’t be more proud with this group of young ladies,” Pelkey added, “Biba Guahan! Biba women’s basketball.”

Castro finished the game with 20 points, 14 rebounds and four steals. Kali Benavente, who is still slowly coming back to form from an injury, steadied the tempo with 10 points, six rebounds and five assists. 13-year-old phenom Mia San Nicolas chipped in seven points 11 rebounds and two blocks. Dyonii Quitugua added nine points.

Coach Eddie Pelkey goes over the strategy during the bronze medal game against Tahiti. (photo by Tony Thompson)

Coach Eddie Pelkey goes over the strategy during the bronze medal game against Tahiti. (photo by Tony Thompson)

Guam’s U19 Tournament run has officially come to an end as the boys captured gold in the B division, which is just outside the top four teams who will be competing for top honors.

Kurtis Silva led Guam with 21 points while Jeddou Antonio had 18 as Guam defeated Samoa 95-64 in the final game. Tristan Jose and Billy Belger were the only others from Guam to hit double digits.

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