The National- Thursday, January 20, 2011
THE Port Moresby Papuan Blacks basketball team recieved some timely assistance yesterday with a K25,000 sponsorship along with insurance cover from Pacific MMI Insurance.
The sponsorship will assist with the 15-member team travel down to Cairns for the Jan 28-31 Far North Queensland All Stars competition.
PMMI also assisted with a separate K2,500 funding for this weekend’s Port Moresby Invitational tournament at Sir John Guise Indoor Complex which will see five select teams showcase the basketball talent in PNG in a first-time event from tomorrow until Sunday.
The Papuan Blacks have been competing since 2007 and will play in the invitational as a warm up for the All Stars tournament.
The Cairns-bound side are a mix of young talent and several experienced players.
PMMI managing director Wayne Dorgan said the insurer had been supporting the team for the past four years.
This year comes as a blessing for the Papuan Blacks as it is their first time to have significant corporate backing.
The team’s objective is to expose some of PNG’s rising talent to high level competition before this year’s Pacific Games in New Caledonia and improve on their regional ranking of fifth place – achieved from 2005 mini SP games in Palau – to third and ultimately aim for the top spot in 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby.
Coach Ferdinand Daroya said since the formation of the club in 2007 they had developed as a group.
“I have coached many basketball teams and have never seen the commitment that the Papuan Blacks have portrayed during their preparations,” Daroya said.
He said every thing learned would be tested this weekend to fine tune skills and plays before the All Stars event.
Team manager Maj. Sere Kala in thanking PMMI added that attending overseas tournament would have a positive effect on the code especially when the Papuan Blacks returned to play for their respective clubs and share what they have gained in terms of skills and knowlegde.
Senior player Wally Parapa endorsed that view.
“Four years back we found overseas trips quite tough but now we have a completely different ball game and things should work well for us.”