Flames bag 4th title


THE Southern Flames bagged their fourth Papua New Guinea Men’s Basketball League title with a 97-86 win over the Tamaraws in game two last night.
Flames took a 1-0 lead in the series after their 90-70 win in game one on Sunday.
The defending champions and Kutubu Security Services side had to see off a gutsy effort from the water buffalos led 41-38 at halftime and pushed the Flames all the way in the second match of the best of three final series.
Flames coach Moi Muri said his side had to fight back over the final quarter to secure the title and he commended the Tamaraws for a great effort. “I was not expecting the Tamaraws to be so good in the first two quarters but thankfully we stuck to our game plan and our talent and commitment got us the win,” Muri said.
“It was a hard fought game for my guys. The Tamaraws started really and put us under pressure in the first two quarters.”
Tamaraws coach Ferdinand Daroya said this was the best game his men have played this season but it was unfortunate that they could not push the series into a decider.
“We committed too many errors and gave them the ball and we could have gone to a third game,” Daroya said. He commended Flames for their victory last night. They came strongly in the last two periods two snatch victory.
The Tamaraws took a handy 23-17 lead after the first quarter and maintained it heading into the halftime break causing a few nerves for the Flames, who had been used to leading matches all season.
Forced to compete for a change and come from behind the Flames’ class and skill came to the fore as they claimed the lead (66-64) for the first time at the end of the third quarter.
Fatigue crept into the fourth quarter as the Moni Plus-sponsored Tamaraws struggled to maintain their intensity and the defending champions kept their composure to close out the match.
Flames captain Charles Parapa led by example scoring 21 points while Moses Lune top-scored with a gritty 24 points.
Apia Muri bagged 19 points including two dunks which got the crowd going.
Tamaraws’ three-point specialist Orlando Daroya led the scoring for his side with 24 points.
The Flames received K5000 in prize money along with the PMBL championship trophy and will play the 2K Tigers in their post season challenge with K15,000 at stake.

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