PNG will now face the New Zealand Maori for the second time at this tournament in the semi-final today at the Te Rauparaha Arena, Porirua.
An intense and physical battle raged, as rowdy supporters urged both Fiji and PNG on in the last minute.
PNG were ahead at each quarter (17-13, 34-22, 51-36, 68-59), but in the fourth period, it looked like the Fijians might have pulled the game back.
They were let down badly by their three-pointers, converting only three out of 15 attempts.
PNG coach Veitu Diro explained the win: “This team is young and aggressive, and they followed the game plan.
“We watched some of Fiji’s earlier games and they use the UCLA 1-4 offensive alignment. We set up our defence to beat it and it worked.
“It suited our style of play.”
Betty Angula (20 points/13 rebounds) and Louisa Wallace (24 points/13 rebounds) both had double doubles for the winners, while Mikaelar Whippy led Fiji with 16 points.
PNG 66 (Louisa Wallace 24, Betty Angula 20) Fiji 59 (Mikaelar Whippy 16, Dale Wise 12)
In the men, NZ Maori were too good winning their quarterfinal against PNG, 103-66.
The game was very close in the first half, with PNG only nine points behind the New Zealand team at times.
Maori coach Jeff Green thought his team could have played better.
“We played down to their level and all credit to them – they made us play to their level,” he said.
New Zealand expanded their lead in the second half, 26 points ahead of PNG at the end of the third quarter.
Both teams made less than half the field goals they attempted and just over a quarter of their three-point shots.
“One of our shooters has an injured ankle, which showed during the shooting performance today.”
Green said his team had a good last quarter, after breaking away from the PNG challenge.
The New Zealand team have had five injured players this tournament, which is affecting their play.
“Our captain has a strained thigh, so he can’t get down, which showed during this game.”
NZ Maori 103 (James Paringatai 19, Shea Ili 17) PNG 66 (Gabriel Elavo 16, Purari Muri 14)