The National, Monday December 15th, 2014
By JACK AMI
TAMARAWS rallied to out-hustle Southern Flames 94-84, winning Game 2 of PNG Men’s Basketball League grand final best-of-three series and levelling it 1-1, on Saturday night.
The series now heads into the decider at 6.30pm tonight, at the Filipino Association (PNG) basketball court.
Despite its lack of seating, the PAPNG indoor court at Gordon is expected to draw hundreds of fans for the match that will decide the season’s champions.
The winners will walk away with K25,000, while the runners-up get K5000.
With their backs against the wall, Tamaraws found the drive to stay within reach of the Flames and did not let their high-flying opponents run away with the game.
Tamaraws led the first quarter 19-16 and kept it even over the next two quarters 44-44 and 67-67, before seizing the momentum in the final quarter 94-84.
The 10-point winning margin was a fair indication of Tamaraws’ commitment and staying power.
The Moni Plus-sponsored side shifted to full gear in a crucial three minutes to stage 84-78 lead but the Flames levelled proceedings 84-84 in the 38th minute, when Filipino import Marc Palisoc and Tom Wilson boosted the offence.
They played safety and control with utility Apia Muri in charge and Elavo brothers, Don and Gabriel, Parapa brothers, Wally and Emmanuel, Greg Travertz and Richard Arava laid the foundation in defence to support veteran Harold Elavo and Tuki Salilum.
Elavo (Gabriel) top-scored for Tamaraws with 16 points, Muri 15, Parapa (Wally) 10, Travertz 10 and Palisoc 10.
Flames were hit hard when big buy Joe Elavo graduated with five fouls in the third quarter and his dismissal left a void for the Flames in offence but star guard Purari Muri, Charles Parapa, Moses Lune and Collin Pine carried on as best as they could.
Flames coach Moi Muri had to gamble on his son Purari, Parapa and Lune but they were fighting the tide as the Buffalos surged home.
Purari netted a game high of 25 points, Lune 19, Elavo 13 and Parapa 12 for the Flames.