SOL23: Guam defends gold in men’s basketball 3×3 while Tahiti win women’s tournament

Tahiti won gold in the women’s competition. Photos: Jimmy Tura, Pacific Games News Service

Guam successfully defended their Pacific Games basketball 3×3 gold medal after beating Fiji in a tightly contested battle of the giants on Saturday at the SIFF Academy court.

The teams headed into the gold medal match after beating PNG and New Caledonia respectively earlier in the day.

“We feel incredible, this was a grafted out win,” Guam captain Mark Johnson Junior told the Pacific Games News Service.

“Fiji is a really good team, very skilful, with very good experienced players. It took us a while to get back to the 3×3 group but I thought every day we were getting better and better, from the first day to our last day. We all got better and we all sacrificed for the team and I thought it was a great team,” he said.

Johnson also thanked their supporters and families back in Guam for the support they have received during the Games.

In the women’s division, Tahiti secured their first basketball 3×3 gold medal, defeating Samoa 2019 gold medallists Fiji 11-7.

Tahiti coach Georgy Adams told the Pacific Games News Service: “It was not easy because after the 5×5 (basketball) everybody was tired. Our players got injured so first we had to find solutions because two of our players were injured on the hands and knees sore. But I believe in what we wanted to do, the girls are unique because it was not that easy but they did their job.

“You know when you get to play the final you are there to win. I am a happy coach and I am just so proud of the girls,” he concluded.

New Caledonia settled for bronze after beating PNG 21-5 in the men’s division while Cook Islands beat New Caledonia 21-12 to claim bronze in the women’s competition.

By Meleseini Tufui, Timothy Inifiri Jnr and Liah Mason, Pacific Games News Service