Wright honoured to represent PNG

Sports

EIGHTEEN-year-old Liam Wright is honoured to be part of the PNG men’s basketball side for the 2017 FIBA Melanesian Cup from Sept 27-30.
With 12 days before the tournament starts, the 190cm tall basketballer has been committed to his individual and team training sessions at the Taurama Aquatic and Indoor Centre.
“Every player has to do what they need to do individually as well to make the team better so I am working to get better each day before the tournament starts.
“I feel like I can perform at my best like what I did in the 2015 Pacific Games. So I am extremely happy to play and see the crowd here.
“I think the 2015 Pacific Games gave me a taste of what PNG can do so I am just looking forward to it.
“I am glad I got the opportunity to play for my mother’s province New Ireland in this year’s national championships.
“I got to understand the place where I come from and now to represent the country again will be an honour. I hold the pride in playing for both Kavieng and PNG,” Wright said.
Liam’s older brother Lloyd, 20, is not included in the squad due to study commitments in the United States, however, both brothers were part of the national championships earlier this year representing their mother’s province of New Ireland.
“Lloyd’s in America at the moment at colleague. He is unable to come back because of his school commitments but I am sure he’ll be back for other stuff in the future,” Wright said.
He spoke highly of his team mates Apia and Dia Muri as experienced players and he loved playing alongside them.
“They’ve been lucky enough to go to the Solomon Islands with their PMBL team and they have come back with ideas on how we can beat them and all that kind of stuff.
“They are very experienced and the communication between us is very good. I think we have a really good team,” Wright added.
Against the three Melanesian countries of Solomon Islands, Fiji and New Caledonia, Wright thinks Fiji will be tougher which can bring out the best in them.
“Fiji obviously had a really tough team in the Pacific Games. I am hoping they bring a tough team again because I don’t want to play anyone second best.
“I want to play the best of each team and I am hoping they come with all they got and hopefully we can knock them off,” Wright said.
Playing in the FIBA Melanesian Cup will be the third time for Wright to representPNG in the senior level. He represented the country twice before during the Pacific Games and FIBA 3×3 tournament in Gold Coast in 2015.
Coach Joel Khalu spoke of Wright as a player who has certainly matured since he last represented PNG at the 2015 Pacific Games.

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