Cook Islands successfully defended their 2018 FIBA Polynesian Cup title to win gold at the 2022 event in New Zealand. FIBA/22110713
Cook Islands and Samoa have qualified for the Pacific Games 2023 following the FIBA Polynesian Cup 2022 in New Zealand last week.
Islands successfully defended their 2018 title to win gold with Samoa taking
silver and Tahiti settling for bronze.
the first game of the day, Samoa defeated American Samoa, 83-58.
Samoa sisters, Malia Nawahine and Valeria Nawahine-Tanuvasa were both
outstanding in defeat racking up 42 points between them. It wasn’t enough though with Samoa flexing
their youthful dominance.
Joseph was prolific for Samoa in the third quarter to finish with 15 points
with Sienna Tutani and Azaleeah Oloapu playing beyond their years to wrap up
their tournaments on a high. Samoa Captain,
Malama Leaupepe stared once again with 37 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists.
a highly anticipated match, the Cook Islands took care of business against
Tahiti 65-48 to earn their spot at the Pacific Games 2023.
through undefeated, Cook Islands defending their 2018 gold medal to once again
be champions of Polynesia. Cook Islands defeated American Samoa 87-75, Samoa
79-76 and Tonga 73-51.
the final match, Tahiti were gallant with Herehau Teissier, Oceane Lefranc and
captain Maea Lextreyt all digging deep, but it wasn’t enough up against the
likes of Terai Sadler, Keziah Lewis, and Dre Whaanga-Ashin.
Islands captain, Keziah Lewis said the girls were thrilled to go back-to-back
and qualify once more for the Pacific Games.
has been a really good tournament for us, we came in thinking we would have
more players, but overall, I’m so proud of our team,” Lewis said.
(Sadler) was pretty good for us, but as a team we all supported and contributed
to how the tournament unfolded. Dre has been so valuable in defence; we had a
lot of very tight game that came down to defence and she was the difference as
one of our main defensive players on debut here.”
Islands and Samoa both qualify for the Pacific Games 2023.