The Friendship Hall in Honiara was set ablaze, full of life and energy as the Sol2023 basketball tournament commenced its qualifying playoff rounds on Wednesday. With intense playoffs and surprising outcomes, basketball enthusiasts were treated to a thrilling day of competition.
In an interesting format, the top team of each pool secures a direct ticket to the semi-finals.
Pool A saw Guam claiming victory, while New Caledonia emerged triumphant in Pool B, setting the stage for a high-stakes showdown in the upcoming playoff rounds.
The clash of the titans between Fiji and Tonga in the women’s division proved a gripping encounter. Tonga showcased great resilience however could not contain the might of Fiji, with the latter winning with an impressive 75-46 score line.
In the men’s division, New Caledonia secured a hard-fought 87–78 victory over Papua New Guinea (PNG), with the intense battle on the court leaving fans on the edge of their seats, highlighting the competitive spirit of the Sol2023 basketball tournament.
Progressing on to the quarterfinals, Samoa and Tahiti locked horns in a match that kept spectators on the edge. Samoa delivering a standout performance in securing an 81-71 victory over their rivals and booking a coveted spot in the semi-finals.
Hosts Solomon Islands and Tonga will engage in a classification battle for 7th and 8th place on Thursday.
As the tournament progresses, the anticipation and momentum keeps building for the remaining matches and the ultimate crowning of the Sol2023 basketball champions.
It is also important to note that the Pacific Games basketball tournament serves as the official qualifier for the Oceania Region, determining which teams will advance to the FIBA Asia Cup pre-qualifiers.
The stakes are high, and the teams are leaving no stone unturned in their pursuit of glory on the basketball court.
Basketball enthusiasts around the region are eagerly awaiting the unfolding drama and excitement in the days to come. The action continues on Thursday.
By Walter Sale and Delishia Koime, Pacific Games News Service