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