By HENRY MORABANG
PAPUA New Guinea is likely to win another gold medal today when the Pepes take on Tonga in the final match of the netball competition in 2017 Pacific Mini Games in Port Vila, Vanuatu, today.
The Pepes won two games convincingly against host Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands which put them in good stead for a gold medal. Team manager Dianne Kala-Lahari said from Port Vila that they were excited and looking forward for a positive result today.
“We won our two matches which put us in a good stead to win gold today. The feeling in the camp is good and the girls are all expecting a big game against Tonga,” Kala-Lahari said.
“Our focus is working on our circle defence and defending from midcourt so the ball does not go into the circle that easily for the taller Tongan shooter.
“Our engine room, the attackers have been spot-on with their drives and movements up and down the court,” she said.
Co-captain Jacklyn Lahari has been great off the mark and playmaker Neritha Adula has been playing really well, she said.
Rayleen Andrews has been outstanding in the goal circle with excellent support from Jeperth Tulapi and the debutant Boio Peter.
Lahari said the young players coming off the bench have been good as well and connecting well with the ones on court. She added that the feeling in the camp was great after the two wins but there was heaps to work on before they could take the court against Tonga.
Lahari said the team would now rely on senior players and their experience against a team like Tonga.
“If we make fewer errors and go 100 per cent on defence we will pull through.”
She said the team would be counting on senior players Jacklyn Lahari, Lua Rikis, Neritha Adula, Rayleen Andrew, Jeperth Tulapi and Tau Galewa when they meet Tonga.
“These players will need to stand strong and maintain composure in the physical and fast match that we are expecting tomorrow (today).”
By HENRY MORABANG