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GUAM MEN’S TEAM BEATS SAMOA FOR U17 FIBA BRONZE

The U17 FIBA Oceania Basketball Championships reached it’s end Saturday with medals on the line for the top four teams in both the men’s and women’s division. For the local team Guam, it was a double-header against Samoa for the bronze medal. Guam split the bronze medal game with the men’s team gaining a 105-70 victory while the ladies fell 88-58.

By Robert Balajadia

The U17 FIBA Oceania Basketball Championships reached it’s end Saturday with medals on the line for the top four teams in both the men’s and women’s division. For the local team Guam, it was a double-header against Samoa for the bronze medal.

Guam split the bronze medal game with the men’s team gaining a 105-70 victory while the ladies fell 88-58.

Mission accomplished for men’s team

It was their goal from their first practice over two months ago, to win a medal. After losing badly to Australia in the semifinals, Guam’s mission to medal stood 40 minutes between the host team and Samoa.

The brand of fast-paced basketball and trap style defense allowed Guam to gain a comfortable 59-39 halftime lead with Kyle Gaitan and Jhamar White carrying the scoring load.

Gaitan would end his day with 25 points while White would add 17 to round out Guam’s top scorers.

Closing quarters was key for Guam against Samoa with two big-time buckets coming from down town to end the 1st and 2nd periods. Guam’s Jason Diaz would convert on an and-one three pointer to put Guam up 32-20 in the 1st quarter and swingman Tony Hsieh hit a deep trey for the 20-point halftime lead.

The lead would balloon to 80-51 with Gaitan cashing in his best quarter, scoring 11 of Guam’s 21 points. Guam’s Jason Diaz and Tomas Calvo added strength in the offensive flow with both ballers scoring 13 points.

Samoa’s Tumau Lelei Tautau had a strong game with 21 points and 9 rebounds.

Samoa’s Ropati dominates Guam

Frances Ropati put on display her best game of the FIBA tournament, netting 32 points to go along with 17 rebounds and 9 steals to power Samoa to a bronze medal finish over the host team Guam.

Guam’s Mia San Nicolas led Guam with 18 points with Elysia Perez adding 11 and guard Hailey Senne adding 10.

Samoa was fuelled by a 14-2 run in the 2nd period after to post a 50-29 advantage before stretching an 18-point halftime lead to a 71-44 lead through three quarters.

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