By JACK AMI
THE Basketball Federation of Papua New Guinea has included 22-year-old University of Western Sydney student Peninnah Javapro in the women’s national training squad for next year’s Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa.
She is a second-year social science student majoring in children and family services, and plays in the state basketball competition.
Javapro — from East New Britain, East Sepik and Morobe — is a dual citizen and qualifies to play for her country of origin but that has yet to be cleared before she can play.
She joined 19 women from Port Moresby, Lae and Mt Hagen in the three-day training camp under the watchful eyes of national coaches Moi Muri and Martha Aaron at the Taurama Aquatic and Indoor Centre in Port Moresby yesterday.
Javapro said she plays for the university team in the Western Sydney State basketball competition.
Javapro said she was proud to be part of the training squad.
“I’m really looking forward to the training and to help impart what is needed in the side, as the only inclusion from overseas,” she said.
“There is hope and willingness to do better, with the players we have here to get out there and prove it.
“I was selected in the 2015 Pacific Games basketball team but was not cleared because of my dual citizenship.
“But now, all looks fine for me.
“I’m here to help PNG women’s basketball and I’m positive that we will be medal contestants at the 2019 Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa.”
Muri and Aaron agreed that they had speed, but lacked height and weight.
“This is the area that we are focusing on to complement our defence,” Muri said.
“Speed comes with accuracy and if we can do that, it is a bonus for us.
“We really need to lift our defence and polish up on our shooting.”
Aaron said they were working on their strengths to “let the positives speak for themselves”.
By JACK AMI