By JACK AMI
VABUKORI’S men’s amateur volleyball association (VAVA) side created history in claiming their 14th successive crown at the National Volleyball Championships in Port Moresby yesterday after beating Hula 3-1.
In the women’s division, the National Capital District dethroned Fairfax 3-1 to restore lost pride after missing out on several occasions over the last three years.
The day’s finals at the Taurama Aquatic Centre were witnessed by an estimated 1500 fans, including sports administrators Terence Moka and Reatau Rea, with newly-elected PNG Volleyball Federation president Kila Dick and predecessor Bernard Alu.
VAVA’s big hitter Momo Taeara Junior blasted Hula’s frontline time and again but the Central side were not flustered and gave as good as they got despite losing by a margin in the end.
The set scores saw Vabukori take the first round 25-21 but gave up the second 25-23 in a nail-biter before holding their nerve to claim the third frame 25-22 and coast to a 25-19 in the fourth.
VAVA’s reign as the champion men’s side is the longest in the country’s history and looks to be unmatched. The champions with co-captains Ravu Mahuru and Gia Toovey Kapa along with Manly Kapa, Momo Taeara Jr, Harold Gima and Walter Henao produced outstanding performances to get their side over the line.
Hula with starters in Kilarupa brothers Richard, Timothy and Veleke as well as Siniva Siniva, Sama Pala and Alu Pei kept their cool under pressure but in the end they just couldn’t produce the winners needed to claim a national title.
In the women’s division, NCD blew Fairfax away 25-2 in the fourth set to win the title after losing the first set 25-19.
From then on it was downhill for the Fairfax as NCD put three winning sets together in a powerhouse display – 25-13, 25-16 and 25-2 – to storm home. NCD with captain Diane John, Lois Garena, Bibiana Paloa, Manu Kapa Kila, Michelle Walo and Clara Kila regrouped after the first set blow Fairfax off the court. Fairfax, the former champions, with Daphne Opu, Priscilla Kae, Perpetua Awadu, Philo Ameisa, Hazel Ruga and Zoey Awadu put a brilliant opening set together before getting swamped by a determined NCD in the next three sets.
By JACK AMI