Baby Pearls Qual­ify

Fiji Sun - - Sport - LEONE CABENATABUA FFeed­back: leonec@fi­jisun.com.fj

It’s of­fi­cial! The Fi­jian Un­der-21 net­ball side dubbed the Baby Pearls are go­ing to play in next year’s Youth World Cup in Botswana. This was af­ter the Vicki Wil­son coached- side ended Cook Is­lands un­beaten run with a 46-32 win be­fore they wal­loped Pa­pua New Guinea 56-33 in Auck­land, New Zealand last night. The Baby Pearls have re­mained un­beaten and now qual­i­fies for the first and sec­ond po­si­tion playoffs. With the Fi­jians con­firmed the other two spots will be con­tested by Cook Is­lands, PNG and Samoa. Cook Is­lands coach John Glassie said the Fi­jians had a great coach in Wil­son and the play­ers were well-drilled and com­posed. The Baby Pearls led 10-6 in the first quar­ter and build it up to 24-14 at the in­ter­val. They scored 13 points while Cook Is­lands man­aged 10 in the third quar­ter.

In a tough bat­tle against PNG, the Baby Pearls were up 13-9 at the first quar­ter and held a slen­der 26-20 lead at half­time. The Episake Ka­ha­toka cap­tain-side in­creased their tally to 41-27 in the third quar­ter. The Baby Pearls have also be­come the first Pa­cific Is­land team to beat the North­ern Net­ball Zone (NNZ) side from New Zealand.

Re­sults: Tonga 22-66 NNZ, PNG 36-59 Samoa, Tonga 29-62 Cook Is­lands, NNZ 55-26 Samoa.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Photo: NYC 2016

Baby Pearls goal shooter Maliana Ru­si­vakula on at­tack against PNG in Auck­land, New Zealand last night.

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