Banduru named in PNG b’ball team


James Banduru Jr is ready to make his mark on the FIBA Melanesia Basketball Cup later this month.
The 20-year-old admits he was surprised to read his name on the PNG Men’s national team final list for the FIBA Melanesia Basketball Cup.
“I’ll be honest, there were a few things I wasn’t doing right regarding execution in the three-day training
camp we had recently,” Banduru acknowledged.
“I always tried to give my best effort though and I’m thankful to the selectors for noticing that. Now that I am picked, I’ll make sure I perform to the best of my ability for my country and our people.”
Banduru, who goes by ‘Junior’ with coaches and teammates, will be making his senior international debut for PNG  when the FIBA Melanesia Basketball Cup tips off later this month.
The 205cm center previously represented the nation as a junior back in 2014, competing in the FIBA Oceania Under 18 Championships held in Fiji.
Since then he has been continuing his basketball development with the Tamaraws club in the PMBL.
Since earning selection in the PNG men’s squad following the recent National Championships, Banduru has been working hard on shaping his
body, shedding 7kg of body fat over the last month.
“One of the things we said to Junior going into this campaign was that he needed to have a major focus on improving his body and his diet,” PNG
men’s national team head coach Joel Khalu said.
“To his credit that’s happened. He’s dropped noticeable weight and
that’s a good sign regarding his discipline.”

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