BY CHRIS ALEX
THE Solomon Islands men’s basketball team’s captain, Alex Masaea, acknowledges that the team has learned a great deal from their three losses to Guam, Samoa, and Papua New Guinea in the group A of the XVII Pacific Games in 2023.
“We have a lot to learn from this. We play against teams that have players with exposure and experience, so competing in the Pacific is important,” Alex told RAW SPORTS.
The Solomon Islands were eliminated from medal contention after losing to Guam 87-53 last night, Papua New Guinea 82-34 in their second game, and Samoa 56-49 in their opening group A match. They play Tonga on Thursday, November 23 at 12 p.m. for the 7th and 8th place positions.
Even though the team didn’t win last night, Alex wanted to express his gratitude to all of the friends and family that came out to cheer them on during their last game against a resolute Guam.
“We saw an incredible show of support from our fans tonight. The audience supported us for the entire 48 minutes, from the first to the last, demonstrating your faith in our ability to improve things going forward.
“We’ve traveled abroad to play before, but we’ve never had the kind of turnout that we had tonight. Its evidence of the faith our fans have in us,” he added.
The men’s basketball team’s captain gave his players high marks for their tenacious effort on the court, noting that even though they lost, they demonstrated their potential.
Alex underlined how crucial it is to build on this experience in order to get better in upcoming tournaments.
“We have a lot to learn from this. We play against teams that have players with exposure to the Pacific, so competing there is essential.
“The competition at the Pacific Games is far higher than it was at previous years’ events, such as the Melanesian Cup,” he said.
Later, he thanked all of the players for their unceasing efforts and the spectators for their resolute support.
“This game tonight represented our journey from the first to the last game; it was more than just a game. We value every applause and every second you spent supporting us. We pledge that we will return stronger than before and that this experience will only make us stronger,” he said.
Alex gave team Solomon fans a positive outlook for the group’s future pursuits.