Debutants Palau shocked the highly fancied Guam 21-17 on the opening day of the Sol2023 Pacific Games men’s 3×3 basketball competition on Wednesday.
Led by 24-year-old inspirational captain Wallace Worswick, Palau came into the match as underdogs and proved everyone wrong with their historic win in front of a packed SIFF Academy court.
“It feels great because we are the underdogs of the tournament, we’re young and we’re smart but most importantly we’ve got heart and we played hard tonight, which is all that matters,” Worswick told the Pacific Games News Service.
“We’ve just got to remain calm and not get too ahead of ourselves. We’ve still got a long tournament ahead so we need to keep the momentum and focus on the next games,” he added.
Fiji, the men’s silver medallists from four years ago, also proved that they will be a force to be reckoned with after beating Tahiti 16-12 in their first match on Wednesday, before a hard earned 16-15 victory over a tough Tongan side.
In the women’s competition, defending champions Fiji began their campaign with a dominant 16-8 victory over Samoa in Pool B.
The day’s other results saw PNG and New Caledonia topping Pool A, each winning two out of two matches.
New Caledonia beat Tonga 13-12 before destroying Guam 20-12 in their other match.
Matches resume from 12pm on Thursday at the SIFF Academy.
By Timothy Inifiri Jnr, Liah Mason, Melinda Alu and Sylvia Szetu, Pacific Games News Service