With 100 days to go, FIBA Oceania is pleased to announce that ten teams have entered into both male and female divisions of the FIBA U19 championship to be held at Vodafone Arena in Suva Fiji from 1-6 December 2014 and Solomon Island is one.
With the strong support of the Fiji’s government they FIBA is excited the game is happening.
Basketball Fiji’s Chief Operating Officer Laisiasa Puamau said how excited Basketball Fiji was to be able to host the event in Suva.
“This is a great opportunity for the Pacific Island nations to showcase their talents in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Oceania.
“We anticipate the Pacific Islander communities will turn up to show their support as their home nations come to compete.”
The competing teams are American Samoa, New Caledonia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Australia, Guam, New Zealand, Samoa and Tahiti.
FIBA Oceania Secretary General David Crocker commented on the championships by saying “ten teams in each gender is a great response to this playing opportunity.
“Australia and New Zealand may have too much strength and experience for most of the competing teams, but I’m pleased nobody is deterred by this.
“You don’t get better and close the gap if you don’t play against the best. The tropical conditions of Fiji in December could play some havoc with the Australian and New Zealand teams that won’t be as acclimatised as other competing nations.
“This is an advantage that could assist some nations that live in this type of climate. I have been able to see a number of the teams preparing for this event already in their national gyms and they are all looking for an edge whether it is in fitness, physicality or their shooting, they all have a strength they are working on”.
The tournament will have a competition twist, “playing in two pools of five, at the completion of initial pool play, the top four teams will move into Division One and play for Gold, silver and Bronze medals.
And then as a unique initiative for this event, team’s 5-10 will play in Division B, also for Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. We want all games to mean something as the tournament gets to the business end” said Secretary General Crocker as reveals by the SIBA.
By Joanna Frances