BFPNG names team for Melanesian Cup


THE Basketball Federation of Papua New Guinea (BFPNG) has announced its men’s national representative team to compete in the 2017 FIBA Melanesia Basketball Cup next month in Port Moresby.
The final 12 players and five shadow-reserves were named yesterday after a three-day training programmee at the Taurama Aquatic and Indoor Centre last weekend.
Nine from the 2015 Pacific Games’ side — Apia Muri, Aron Farmer, Dia Muri, Gabriel Elavo, Liam Wright, Moses Lune Apiko, Matineng Leahy, Purari Muri and Robert Kave — were retained and former representatives Charles Parapa and Sibona Kala earned recalls while Llyod Wright — who was named most valuable player of the 2017 BFPNG Men’s National Championships — was unavailable.
BFPNG president and selection panel chairman Nick Daroa said coming up with the final team was a “very tough” decision for the committee.
“There were 23 athletes in camp over the weekend and all of them worked extremely hard in trying to earn a spot,” Daroa said. “I commend and thank them for their outstanding commitment to basketball.
“The panel certainly had to make some difficult choices, but when we are in that position, it means we have a wide range of talent to choose from, which is a good thing for our sport.
“We are happy with the (team’s) mix of youth and experience talents that was picked to represent our country with passion and pride in this tournament.
“Playing at home is going to bring extra expectation, but I think this team will be able to achieve our goal, which is winning the inaugural men’s FIBA Melanesia Basketball Cup.”
PNG men: Apia Muri, Aron Farmer, Charles Parapa, Dia Muri, Gabriel Elavo, James Banduru, Liam Wright, Moses Lune Apiko, Matineng Leahy, Purari Muri, Robert Kave, Sibona Kala. Reserves: Anderson Hewe, Cornelius Muri, Emmanuel Parapa, Joe Elavo, Manessah Moere.

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