By ISAAC LIRI
AFTER six weeks of the Basketball Federation of Papua New Guinea inaugural corporate-social Hoops for Health basketball competition, PBV2 Rainbow Travel beat Ink Shope 64-55 to win the trophy at the Taurama Aquatic and Indoor Centre on Wednesday.
In what was a fierce showdown, the affair was up for grabs for either side as the lead changed hands throughout the match.
Rodel Verdart was a standout for Ink Shoppe, sinking five consecutive long-range three-pointers and scoring a game-high of 30 points for his team although it was not enough as PBV2 Rainbow Travel’s Gerry Suve and Michael Henry proved exceptional in scoring to edge their opponents.
In the third-place playoff, Titans B were too good for the High Performance Laumas, taking home the bronze with a 55-48 victory.
BFPNG chief executive officer Joel Khalu said that the close results made an exciting finish to a successful first season.
“It was great to see many of these final match-ups go down to the wire,” Khalu said. “The grand final could have gone either way.
“In the end, I think the Ink Shoppe players simply ran out of steam.
“Full credit must go to PBV2 Rainbow Travel though.
“They’ve been the standout side all season long and their unbeaten run is a reflection of how good they are.”
Khalu said that BFPNG had already started plans for next year’s H4H mixed competition, adding that there would most likely be two separate divisions.
“One thing we found with competition this year was that we have two types of teams.
“Firstly, those that are purely social and secondly, others who are a bit more competitive.
“We’ll split teams into social and serious divisions next year, just to ensure the competition remains as even-keeled and enjoyable as possible,” Khalu added.
He also took time to acknowledge the support of the International Basketball Foundation (IBF) and funding through the Australian government’s Pacific Sports Partnership programme.
By ISAAC LIRI