Samoa Basketball ready for Pago

By Vatapuia Maiava ,

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The team attended a church service at Apia Protestant Church before heading to American Samoa for the basketball tournament.

The team attended a church service at Apia Protestant Church before heading to American Samoa for the basketball tournament.

The Samoa Basketball Federation has just sent 15 of Samoa’s champions to represent the country in a best of 3 game event in American Samoa. The event will consist of 3 games with the team who wins 2 games first taking out the entire tournament.

The games will be spread out between 3 days next week with matches on Monday, Wednesday and the finals on Saturday; but if a team wins on Monday and Wednesday then Saturday’s match won’t be needed.

The team consists of players from different clubs who all came together 4 weeks prior to the send off to get some preparations done.

Coach Vaioulu Tomoniko who handpicked the players told Samoa Observer that they are ready for Pago Pago.

“We are expecting to play well because during the Pacific Games last year in July we went and defeated American Samoa,” he said.

“American Samoa is our rival in the Pacific, we are always at each other’s throats and since we beat them in P.N.G they are seeking revenge.

“We have to win to make a statement but if we don’t then there is always next time. There are talks of a tournament here on our home ground soon.”

The national team will also be going with a few others in the federation.

“The invitation came really early from American Samoa’s popular names in gridiron Jonathan Fanene; he’s the one who pushed the initiative through American Samoa Basketball Federation,” Mr. Tomoniko said.

“The invitation was for the Open National team and here we are, ready to win; we will also be going with the U18 boys and U18 girls team.”

This is also a push for Samoa to develop Basketball in the country.

“We are trying to make this an annual event, but for now this is just the beginning of the Samoa Basketball Association,” Mr. Tomoniko said.

“Right now we are going in attempts to get more experience under our belts because both our countries teams don’t get many chances to play against many foreign sides.

“We just play our national clubs and that’s all we get, so we will make the most of matches between our two countries.”

The team’s coach asked for the country to help through prayers.

“Wish us luck and hopefully we will come back with the win and let’s pray we don’t get any injuries because that’s our biggest fear right now.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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