PAPUA NEW GUINEA (FIBA Women's Melanesia Basketball Cup 2017) - Papua New Guinea has put on a show for the home fans, defeated Fiji 77-58 taking out the first ever FIBA Women's Melanesia Basketball Cup. After an undefeated group phase, Papua New Guinea capitalised on this momentum and the home crowd to defeat the 2015 Pacific Games gold medalists Fiji.
Luckily for Fiji, they will get a chance at revenge in 2019. Due to their outstanding performances, both Fiji and Papua New Guinea have qualified for the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa. They will be joined by third-placed New Caledonia after their win against the Solomon Islands earlier today.
FIBA.basketball was able to speak with Marca Muri from Papua New Guinea and get her thoughts on the win.
"It's a great feeling, said Muri. "We haven't played in a gold medal game for years so it's nice to be a part of it and especially because it is at home. It is a big achievement for us."
Muri had a message for the home fans and the people who have supported her.
"I'd like to thank my family for all their support during our preparation. It has been difficult but I think we prepared very well and a credit goes to my team mates for their hard work and to our coaches as well. I'd like to thank the fans for their support during this event as well."
Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and New Caledonia will now wait to see who will join them in the 2019 Pacific Games from the Polynesian and Micronesia regions.
Congratulations to the first ever FIBA Women's Melanesia Basketball Cup Champions Papua New Guinea.
– Pauline Courtois leads after first day
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