By Michelle Jerewai, Games News Service
PORT MORESBY, July 18 – Defending champions Wallis and Futuna defeated crowd favourites Papua New Guinea in the men’s volleyball semifinal at a jam-packed BSP Arena at the Port Moresby 2015 Pacific Games on Friday.
Determined to reclaim their title, Wallis and Futuna stepped-up when it counted to defeat the host team 3 sets to 1.
Wallis and Futuna came out strong in the first two sets beating PNG 25-20 and 25-21, but in the third set PNG pulled itself together with the help of a screaming crowd and fought hard against Wallis and Futuna to win the set.
Wallis and Futuna’s captain, Samuele Tuia said the challenge by PNG in the third set caught the team a little off guard.
“We were scared in the third set when PNG came hard on us, because they have played better than the two previous sets,” Tuia said.
“We are very happy to win against PNG because, with the massive crowd, we managed to control ourselves and focus more in the game. We know that the home crowd have come in big numbers but are thankful for those who supported us. It was fun and we enjoyed it.”
He said the players knew they had to pull it together in the fourth set.
“Discipline is the most important thing in our team and we always listen to ourselves. We have a good team spirit and we have performed to our level,” Tuia said.
Wallis and Futuna will take on New Caledonia for the gold medal on Saturday, while Papua New Guinea takes on Tahiti for the bronze
On the women’s side, the American Samoa defeated PNG 3-1 in the semifinal on Friday and will face-off against Tahiti in the gold medal match, while PNG takes on New Caledonia in the bronze medal match.