Source: FIBA Basketball. Samoa have been crowned the FIBA Under-16 Women’s Asian Championship 2022 Division B winners after a historical win in Amman, Jordan.
Syria had previously beaten Samoa in the Group Phase, but the final turned out to be a much tighter contest, with Samoa emerging the winners after a grueling 79-76 win.
Team leader Azaleeah Oloapu continued to step up to the challenge until the very end and was the player that scored the go-ahead layup for Samoa to reclaim the lead for good. Oloapu had yet another big game of 20 points and 19 rebounds, in line with her performance throughout the competition.
Kira-May Filemu was also as productive as she had been throughout the tournament, filling up the box score with 23 points, 17 rebounds, 9 assists, 5 steals, and 2 blocks in this final game. Filemu also knocked down a clutch shot in the waning seconds to give Samoa a big enough lead to keep ahead of a determined Syria side.
Syria had actually clawed their way back from an early 15-point deficit to lead throughout most of the fourth quarter for over 7 minutes, but Samoa regained the lead and held on to it until the final buzzer.
Samoa’s Under 16 women’s side have been setting historical wins throughout the competition and as first-timers on the world stage, and according to FIBA, they have accomplished what no other Samoan national team had done, whether it’s senior men’s or women’s.
On the way to the finals, the Samoa women’s under-16 team made history with a 54-51 victory over Kazakhstan in a down-to-the-wire match to reach the Semi-Finals.
That was followed by a historical 88-73 win over the Philippine side, who had been the unbeaten tournament favourites. Samoa had lost to the Philippines by 94-65 in the Group Phase, but came back to shock the Gilas side and deny them of a hopeful Division A promotion.
Samoa’s win secures their promotion to Division A in 2023.