|Posted by Near the Hoop on July 21, 2015 at 1:00 AM|
The Pepes missed out on taking home Gold on Saturday afternoon as Fiji turned in their A game in the medal final to blast away our Pepe's showing exactly why they are ranked 7th in the world. In front of a perochial PNG home crowd, they imposed their will on an awestruck Pepe's outfit never really moving out of third gear and using all their avaialble players to upset PNG in their quest for Gold at these games.
The Pepe's opened the game very much abreast of their arch rivals and even traded nets in the early part of the game. They only trailed the Pearls by a few nets at the first exchange much to the delight of the home crowd and the anticipation then was that it could be a tight finish but then the Fijians decided in the second and third quarters to drive home a message and for a short stint of perhaps 10 minutes the Fijians just went to town opening up a 10, then 15 and for a short while an 18 net advantage over PNG and from then on it was never likely for teh Pepe's to claw back the deficit.
PNG definitely had the goods and lets not take anything away from the Pepe's effort, they put everything into the game especially the two defenders near the hoop. They played their hearts out however the Pearls just used their height, reach and endurance advantage and when they weaved a bit of the Bula magic into the mix it wasn't long before shazam, the game was over red rover.........
PNG's percentage was high given the amount of ball and pressure Tiata Baldwin and captain Lua Rikis were under, and when they had the ball they were doing things, but the agility and continued high gear the Fijians played at simply overwhelmed the Pepe's today.
Final score PNG 51 Fiji 68
Fiji were deserved winners of the gold as PNG had to settle for Silver.