Baby Black Pearls finish second best

Friday September 30, 2016 Written by Published in Netball
Daimzel Rongokea (middle) with family members. From left: Tepori (mum), Andrea (aunty), Daimzel, Pierre (dad) and Pare (uncle). 16092944 Daimzel Rongokea (middle) with family members. From left: Tepori (mum), Andrea (aunty), Daimzel, Pierre (dad) and Pare (uncle). 16092944

THE COOK ISLANDS Under-21 side finished runner-up at the Oceania World Youth Netball Qualifiers in Auckland on Wednesday.

 

The side that qualified for the 2017 World Youth Netball Cup lost to Fiji in the final.

The Baby Black Pearls put up a brave fight and gave the fast and physical Fijians a good run for their money in the 1st/2nd place playoff.

Fiji raced to a 15-6 lead in the opening quarter and extended their lead to 28-15 at the break.

In the second spell, the John Glassie-coached national side fought back to cushion the deficit, trailing 27-35 at the end of the third quarter.

Cook Islands put on another powerful performance in the final quarter to claw its way back into the game, but lost 40-45.

Glassie was pleased with the performance from the side and praised the players for a job well done. He said they were looking forward to the World Youth Netball Cup in Botswana next year.

“Oceania Qualifiers has been an exciting week. It has been my pleasure to coach the Cook Islands U21 team,” Glassie said in a post on Facebook.

“The team has grown so much over this campaign. Finishing second in the Oceania bracket is a great achievement for this small nation. The passion for netball in the Cook Islands has been reignited.

“Our next step is Fiji for the U21 invitational, then Botswana 2017 for the World Youth Cup. It’s such a privilege to be part of this team.” The side lost a couple of key players to injuries during the qualifiers and Glassie will be hoping they recover in time to join the camp for preparation to their upcoming games.

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