THE NMI Girls Jr National Basketball Team on Wednesday bagged their first win in the FIBA U15 Oceania Championships in Mangilao, Guam by besting Papua New Guinea, 90-73.
The NMI’s in-and-out duo of Kaithlyn Chavez and Azriel Fatialofa opened up with back-to-back buckets in the first quarter as their team seized the lead, 19-11.
In the second and third cantos, PNG fought back with better offense and took over the game, 56-48.
In the final quarter, however, the NMI led by Chavez and Fatialofa regained control with a 42-17 run en route to victory, 90-73.
Kaithlyn Chavez was the NMI’s top scorer with 40 points while Azriel Fatialofa delivered 36 points, six blocks and six steals.
With their first win, the NMI girls have secured a spot in the quarterfinals and will face Samoa today, Thursday, Nov. 24, at 1:30 p.m.
In the men’s division, PNG defeated the NMI, 99-95.
The FIBA U15 Oceanian Championships serve as a qualifier with the top two teams entering the FIBA U16 Asian Championships in 2023.
Northern Mariana Islands Basketball Federation President James Lee said he is “so proud of our U15 boys and girls and their coaches.”
He added, “The tournament is a great experience for them and will help our national program to continue to grow. The girls’ win today is a plus to everything they've already have accomplished.”