By JACK AMI
THE Port Moresby Southern Flames beat the Solomon Islands men’s national team 65-57 in a friendly match in Honiara on Wednesday.
The PNG club played a full Solomon Islands national team who will compete in the Melanesian Cup this month in Port Moresby.
In a best-of-three series, Flames are now one up with game two to be played today. If the home side level the series, game three will be played on Sunday.
The first quarter was a close one as the home side led by a point 20-19.
The Flames, who are unbeaten back in their local competition, the PNG Men’s Basketball League, reorganise to capitalised on their opposition’s weak defence to register valuable points.
In the second quarter and by half time the Flames were six points up 34-28.
It was tough in the third and fourth quarters but the Flames’ strong defence denied the opposition points in the keyway.
Flames starting five of Apia Muri, Gabriel Elavo, Purari Muri, Moses Lune and captain Charles Parapa had to work overtime to beat the Solomon Islanders.
They are also members of the Papua New Guinea men’s national team to participate in the Melanesian Cup.
Flames club president Kevin Teme said only eight players were currently in Solomon Islands while three were still to join the team today or tomorrow for the final match.
Teme said this trip was overdue as they had been waiting for their champions’ cash prize from the Port Moresby Basketball Lague for quite a while.
A timely presentation of the prize would have helped them to travel to Solomon Islands earlier for the friendly games.
By JACK AMI