NCD b’ball team eye shot at title No.5

Sports

By JACK AMI
THE National Capital District’s men’s basketball team are ready  for their fifth PNG Games title in Kimbe, West New Britain, next week.
The Games from Nov 18 to Dec 2, will see its basketball competition start on Tuesday at the San Remo Stadium.
NCD coach John Riponi said he had a team of talented youngsters who were aiming to defend the title they won at the Lae Games in 2014.
“We want to make it five in a row and maintain our clean record as the undisputed champions of PNG Games in the country,” Riponi said.
“We have a good mixture of experience and up and coming prospects who can handle the pressure and win the tight games.”
Team NCD retained key men from the 2014 campaign in Elwyn Salesi, Dodong Elavo and Tom Mare while newcomers Daniel Aila and Emmanuel Parapa are exciting talents that will shore up both ends of the court.
“Our starting five are very good and are probably future national representatives and I’m counting on them to get us through the tournament but they’ll still have to work hard for the title,” he said.
Riponi said his side were looking forward to matching skills with the best from Morobe, Madang, Western Highlands and Southern Highlands – the teams expected to provide their biggest tests.
“We’re looking forward to playing teams like Morobe, Madang, Western Highlands and Southern Highlands because they’re strong and have some really good players,” Riponi said.
“Our advantage is that most of my players are from one area of Port Moresby and there is that natural understanding and friendship which just makes us a better side.”

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