By JACK AMI
THE PAPUA New Guinea Under-18 basketball teams are placed in group B for the FIBA Oceania Youth Championships from Dec 5-10 in Fiji.
Group B has PNG, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Samoa and in group A are Australia, hosts Fiji, Guam and Tahiti.
All matches will be played at the Vodafone Arena in Suva, starting on Dec 5.
PNG’s opening match will be against New Zealand, followed by New Caledonia and Samoa in the last group match before the playoffs.
The PNG men’s and women’s teams need to beat New Caledonia and Samoa to qualify for the second spot to play in the semifinals.
However Australia should present a daunting challenge for PNG in their quest for the playoffs.
The PNG men will be led by Australia-based Liam Wright, with local talents Conillus Muri, Moses Kairi, Esau Horo, Brenneth Asiba, Ivan Tabua and Ravini Markaro in support.
Wright is the only international player with a wealth of experience, having represented PNG at last year’s Pacific Games. He will be supported by Asiba, who will make his last appearance at this level.
The majority of the youngsters will be making their debut.
In the women’s team, Normalisa Dobunaba, Margaret Kevin and Jennifer Haro are to lead in Fiji.
Basketball Federation PNG has yet to confirm a training camp for the squads.
By JACK AMI